I love this time of year. The light, the cardigan appropriate coolness, the lovely seasonal fruit. The mornings and evenings are chilly so I'm starting to feel the need for some warmth. It's not quite porridge weather yet, but something with a bit of sweet spice does just the trick.
This spiced stone fruit compote makes the most of the beautiful plums and peaches on offer at the moment, but it can be easily be made in the winter time with dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and figs. Pears taste lovely poached in this syrup, and you could even toss in some blueberries or blackberries right at the end if you like.
I love this warm, or room temperature - it loses some of it's flavour when it's chilled. It tastes great with plain yogurt, over ice cream, on top of meringues and whipped cream, or even with a few crushed ameretti biscuits over the top. If you wanted to go all out it would make a fab crumble.
To make your own you will need
A mixture of stone fruit - I used 2 peaches, 3 red plums, 3 yellow plums 100g caster sugar 225ml water Zest of one orange A vanilla pod A cinnamon stick
Put your sugar and water into a saucepan and heat gently. Split your vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Once the sugar has dissolved add the vanilla pod and seeds, the orange zest and cinnamon. Allow the syrup to come to a boil.
Meanwhile cut your fruit into pieces and remove the stones. I cut my peaches into eights and my plums into quarters.
Turn the syrup down to a simmer. You can fish out the spices now if you like, but I tend to leave them in. Add the fruit and pop on a lid.
Allow to simmer until the fruit is tender but still holds its shape. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. It can be served warm or at room temperature. Store it in a kilner jar or tuppaware. It will last for several days on the kitchen side. Longer in the fridge. I leave my spices in, but you can of course remove them if you don't want the spiced flavour to get stronger.