4 Ingredient Fig & Blueberry Maple Compote

Fig blueberry compote
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Tediously enough, I can’t eat most fruits unless they are cooked or meticulously peeled. This is a relatively new development in my life and while I don’t expect any sympathy (as medical conditions go it isn’t exactly that terrible, is it?), it is still really bloody annoying. Especially so for somebody who is trying to hit their 7 a day target but who is also pathologically lazy. Peeling an apple takes a lot longer than it does to open a Twix.  And while I am all for trying to embrace vegetables on a daily basis, consuming 500g of plant matter a day is considerably easier if one or two of those servings is of the fruit variety.

The thing is, I have what is called Pollen Food Syndrome. It is – apparently – not that uncommon in adults who have (or, in my case, had and grew out of) hay fever triggered by tree pollen. I did read all about it once but I have forgotten most of the science stuff but it’s apparently something to do with certain foods having structurally similar proteins to tree pollen. Isn’t Mother Nature marvellous? It started with apples but nowadays I can’t eat apples, pears, any of the stone fruits, figs or kiwi fruit without some form of advance culinary preparation. You see? I told you it was pretty tedious.  Because all of those things, and especially stone fruits, are rather abundant at this time of year and are terrifically tasty. CAN YOU IMAGINE NOT BEING ABLE TO EAT A FRESH NECTARINE? CAN YOU? Welcome to my hell.

I can eat this maple blueberry fig compote thing though, hence I am telling you about it. I came across it in Peter Gordon’s Every Day book, which I borrowed from my local library. Did you hear that? Yes, my local library.

{In a bid to stem the tide of my cookbook addiction and appease my husband I have been availing myself of the extensive catalogue of my local library. It is a revelation. They have, or can order in, pretty much anything. It is particularly useful for test-driving books on entirely niche areas (like the Nordic Bakery book I am presently perusing) or those written by fancy restaurant chefs (like the aforementioned Mr Gordon, whose Tapa Room at The Providores is one of my favourite restaurants and definitely the best breakfast in London. Fact), as these are usually the ones that get flicked through and parked on the shelf never to be used again. It is a successful strategy –  I have only bought 8 new cookbooks in the last month, which is a definite improvement}

This was the first, and so far only, thing I have made from the book because it only had four ingredients and one of those was figs which I LOVE (and they’re rich in fibre, antioxidants and minerals to boot) but can hardly ever eat anymore. I have, however, made it four times in a month and it has become a fridge staple for adding to yoghurt and granola in the mornings or sticking on sourdough toast. We all know that blueberries are supposed to be extremely good for us (and British ones are in season right now) but I think I am not alone in saying that they aren’t always as tasty as they should be and you can get entire punnets from time to time that are either utterly devoid of taste or eye-wateringly sharp. This compote deals well with those rogue berries as you can adjust the sweetness and the figs are the dominant flavour anyway.

It also caught my eye because, unlike most compotes, it wasn’t loaded with tons of added sugar – it is sweetened with a tiny amount of maple syrup, which I like to think of as one of the ‘less bad’ sugars. {I am not going to call it a healthy sugar, as much as I would like to. Because it isn’t. It does contain minerals – particularly magnesium and zinc – and some antioxidants, making it a better choice than, say, caster sugar but it’s still about 2/3rds sucrose and it is SUGAR}.

Do make sure you buy real maple syrup though. Check the ingredients. There should be only one: maple syrup. There are loads of products out there that are actually maple flavoured syrup and are just glucose or fuctose corn syrup (or similar) so you are getting all (and probably a lot more) of the sugar and none of the nutrients. Yes, Waitrose, I am looking at you and that sachet you put in with your blueberry pancakes.

maple syrup peter gordon compote

And if you are a fan of Peter Gordon and his fusion thang, there will hopefully be more coming soon from Every Day as it is by far his most accessible book to date (perhaps obviously, clue is in the name and all that) and I have a pretty long list of recipes that I am going to be working my way through. This is in stark contrast to (his former partner at the Providores) Anna Hansen’s Modern Pantry book, which didn’t even make it out of the library. Her food is staggeringly innovative and very delicious but I didn’t find ONE recipe that I backed myself to be able to pull off at home. This, of course, says much more about me than it does her.

Fig & Blueberry Maple Compote
Serves: 4
Adapted from [url href=”http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1906417881/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1906417881&linkCode=as2&tag=thebuckadve-21″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]Every Day[/url] by Peter Gordon
  • 5 ripe fresh figs, sliced or chopped
  • 100g blueberries
  • 30ml maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Put everything into a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.
The original recipe suggests using fresh or dried figs. If you use fresh use the same [i]number[/i] of figs as above, rather than substituting by weight. The same weight of figs will give you stacks more sweetness (and sugar).[br][br]The original also has 50ml of maple syrup but I actually found this really sweet and used less when I made it subsequently. This will depend slightly on how ripe your figs are and how sweet the blueberries are. I would suggest starting with 2 tablespoons (30ml) and then adding more once it thickened up if its still too sharp.[br][br]How long you simmer this really depends on the consistency you want. Peter says 5 minutes but I like to reduce it down for about 20 minutes so that it is quite jam like and can be spread on toast. It is your call.[br][br]I keep this in a tub in the fridge and it lasts about 5 days. Stuff will start growing on it once it’s past its best so I use that as a useful yardstick. If you stick it in a sterilised jar it will keep longer but that feels a bit like overkill here for something so simple to throw together.

Kitchen Song of the Day: Running Up That Hill – Placebo


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1 thought on “4 Ingredient Fig & Blueberry Maple Compote”

  1. If it makes you feel better – My mother is the same. Birch Tree Allergy. No Peaches or the like. I think Apples are still ok. Only here she has to cook all fruit, can’t get away with peeling it.

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