Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blackberry Compote - Saturday 5/9/2009

I've been getting tasty blackberries from Costco recently, and wondering what to do with them other than enjoy them fresh. Our friends BikerChick and Capo are going to stay over with us tonight after going to a hoot together and we'll have pancakes with blackberry compote for breakfast tomorrow.

I went online and looked at a bunch of recipes and then made up my own. I made a double batch, but here are the basics. You could do this with different berries, and adjust the amount of water and cornstarch depending on how juicy the berries are.

2 cups berries.
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cold water
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (to taste, and depending on how tart the berries are)
1/4-1/2 cup water (like I said, depending on the juiciness of the berries)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few shakes of powdered cinnamon

Mix the corn starch and the 2 Tbs of cold water. (Preferably in the same pink melamine cup your mom used to mix up corn starch in when you were a kid.)

Put the berries, sugar and fresh water in a non-reactive pan and heat them to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the berries seem cooked to you. In this case, they seemed to become redder as they cooked. I wanted to leave mine with a little body.

Stir in vanilla extract and cinnamon. (This pairing is my twist on the recipe.)

Keeping the mixture bubbling, slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture until you reach your desired consistency. Mine was about as thick as pie filling. You may not use all the cornstarch...sort of depends on how much liquid you have. If you want it to be more saucy, you can add more water before stirring in the cornstarch mixture.

Tip: I made space in the middle of the berries with my spoon and poured the cornstarch into that. It will thicken a lot in that area, but before it gets lumpy you stir in the thinner juice from amongst the berries. Repeat that several times so you can control how thick the sauce is.

The finished product, ready to cool and pop into the fridge to await breakfast.

I have to say, this was really good on the pancakes.

Which was a relief, since I burnt some of the pancakes, undercooked some and flipped one down between the stove and the counter. We ended up with just barely enough good ones to fill us up, along with some scrambled eggs. I guess I got cocky with my cast iron cooking skills and didn't really pay enough attention to the temperature of the pan. Sheesh!

I told BikerChick and Capo that they have to come back so I can make them a frittata or an omelet. I'm better at that.

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