Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweet Strawberry Compote

Today is Valentines day and I feel that this recipe is keeping with the feel of the holiday. For my husbands big gift I told him that he could pick ANYTHING he wanted and I'd make it for him. Absolutely anything...including desert! Those that know me know I'm not exactly the baking type. I am truely trying to learn but it's definetly not my strong point right now. Well my husband chose steamed fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce and Lemon Herb Swordfish steaks. For desert he chose a no-bake cheesecake. He wanted the boxed kind so I was happy to oblige him. He saw the strawberry kind and I stopped him before he picked it up. I told him to get the regular and told him I'd make him a nice made from scratch strawberry compote to top it with. So I whipped this little bad boy up (my first time EVER making a compote let alone coming up with a complete recipe of my own without even looking at any recipes online for inspiration). So here it is in all it's delicious glory. I must throw in a warning that this might be bad for health. It's dangerous. Once you have some you'll put it on EVERYTHING and not want to stop eating the spoon. So you might wanna make a double batch just to ensure that there's enough for the intended desert. teehee

2 cup of fresh diced strawberries (please...whatever you do...DON'T use frozen. Just go with it here ok)
1 cup of sweet red wine (I used a sweet red muscadine wine...but I'm from the south and literally have it running through my veins haha)
1/2 cup of sugar
1tbsp concentrated lime juice

In a small sauce pan heat up your wine over medium-low heat. Once it's heated (not boiling...just starting to steam) stir in your sugar and allow it to dissolve.

Once the sugar is fully dissolved mix in the lime juice and the strawberries. Stir it once to mix it all together. Now here's the hard part....walk away. Do it. Stop standing over the pot taste testing it. I know it's yummy...but walk away before you eat it all.

Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat. You want a sort of soft boil to happen. This will reduce the wine and thusly result in a delicious thick syrupy sauce. You can check it every so often and stir it gently but don't hover. Remember...a watched pot never boils and strawberry compote never makes it to the table if you hover. HAHA.

I'd say to let it simmer about 15-20 minutes. Maybe a little less. When it starts to thicken you can remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. The cooling process will allow it to thicken further. Once you have your mixture all cooked you can start topping things with it. It's great over cheescake. I like to put any sort of fruit compote in a bowl and top it with my mascarpone and cream cheese mixture. It's good drizzled over the top of ice cream as well...or even a delicious cupcake or cookie. You can find the Whipped Mascarpone and Cream Cheese topping recipe here.

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