After getting all the remaining Transparent apples converted into pies, I started picking some of the abundant blackberries. Lainie, our 4-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog, grazes the lower 3 feet of the bushes, carefully pulling off the ones about to drop. She holds her lips back just a bit, and delicately holds the berry in her front teeth before pulling it off, by instinct or just clever? Anyhow, she makes for good company. I’m sure she doesn’t get as many thorns poking her shins and forearms like I do. Within several minutes of enjoying a late summer breeze while picking, I had enough to make the berry compote for an upcoming dessert, where they’ll be served with Glazed Polenta & Almond Cake.
This compote is best made with fresh berries, but no one will turn their noses up at it if you serve it mid-winter made from berries frozen the summer before. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, & Logan berries all work well in the recipe, whether they’re used solely or mixed with some of the other berries.
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3 cups fresh picked berries
Zest & juice of 1 orange
⅓ c sugar
1 T cornstarch
2 T cool water
Put half the berries, along with the orange zest, juice, and sugar into a small saucepan.
Stir well to distribute the zest and dissolve the sugar.
Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or so, until the berries are bursting, and the liquid has increased.
Lower the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 3 – 4 minutes longer.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water, mixing until smooth.
Add into the cooked berries for last minute or so of their cooking time, stirring well.
When the liquid has thickened, remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in the remaining fresh berries.
Spoon the hot compote into a serving bowl, and cool to room temperature.
Serve with Glazed Polenta & Almond Cake, ice cream, cheesecake, shortcakes ~ or any dessert that benefits from a berry sauce.
Do ahead ~ make up to a week ahead. Cover the cooled compote, and refrigerate. Bring out to warm at room temperature 2 hours before serving.
Note: if using frozen berries, cook them all at once ~ no need to add in the second half at the end.
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