I know, I know that the compote fruit at first sight is not so poetic, and indeed can refer to a natural remedy against a peculiar physical situation, since often we end up eating cooked fruit when we’re not exactly in sparkling form. But I love compote fruit. That’s it, simple as an apple thinly sliced and cooked over low heat just with a little bit of water, with anything else added. Or you can apply some variation on apple compote: sugar – white or cane sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom (my favorite flavor to the apple), lemon and other fruit added, raisins or pine nuts… an infinite range of combinations that can turn a sad and withered apple into a joyful cup of pleasure.
Take one evening a bit down in the dumps, a dinner not too tasty, when you’re willing to cook something good and sweet but you do not want to throw to the winds all the efforts of a week of dieting… What’s better than a compote of fruit, eaten warm cuddled up on the couch, holding the roundness of a soothing cup, perhaps a bit chipped, but beloved and known as a membr of the family, tasting on your tongue the sweetness of velvety fruit, in your nose ovewhelming spices and in your eyes the amber fruit. This is one of my recipes for happiness, something that puts me in harmony with the world and makes me smile back at the end of the day!
I found this way of cooking the fruit into the May issue of Saveurs, it is a recipe from the book Nature by Ducasse, dedicated to natural cuisine. Beside the compote of fruit, a delicate mousse with a special touch, given by the lemon curd, for which I followed the recipe well established and quite perfect, that you can find here.
Ingredients for compote of fruit:
- ripe red plums
- peaches in syrup
- extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon
- honey, 1 tablespoon
- vanilla, 1 pod split open
- thime, 1 sprig
Rinse strawberries and remove the stalk, if they are small leave them whole, otherwise cut them in half. Rinse plums and cut into slices. Drain and slice the peaches in syrup. Heat the honey in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the fruit, the vanilla pod and thyme spring. Let simmer for a few minutes until all the juice is absorbed and the fruit starts to caramelize. Put aside and let cool.
Ingredients for lemon curd mousse:
- lemon curd, 250 gr (use all the lemon curd you want, I love the mousse very lemony and citrus, so I added a bit more lemon curd!)
- cream to whip, 500 ml
- egg whites, 2
- icing sugar, 2 tablespoons
- caster sugar, 2 tablespoons
- lemon juice, a few drops
Whip cream until stiff and when it is firm fold in powdered sugar. Whip egg whites until stiff adding a tablespoon of lemon juice, for at least 7-8 minutes. When they are firm and form soft peaks, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and keep on whipping until they are glossy and firm. Mix whipped cream, whipped egg whites and lemon curd very gently, until you obtain a velvety and smooth mousse.
Making little cups:
- fruit compote
- lemon curd mousse
Cover the bottom of the cups with lemon curd mousse, add a few tablespoons of cooked fruit and crumble meringues over fruit.
Verdict. You know I love lemon curd, but the lemon curd mousse is a sensational discovery. You can still find the freshness of lemon curd, but everything is tempered by the richness of the cream, which creates a velvety mousse where to sink a spoon after another until you see the end. The fruit compote with vanilla and thyme is fragrant and goes perfectly with the mousse. The final touch of crumbled meringues adds a crunchy sensation to the fruit. With a recipe like this, possibly eaten in a sunny lawn with a few friends, I challenge you to not let rise again a smile on your lips!