Simple compote - apples and blackberries

Simple blackberry & apple compote

To go alongside this week’s post about sustainable food swaps (sorry – that’s coming out later this week, due to mass disorganisation at casa-Saunderson), here’s our first recipe. It’s for a super simple fruit compote, that we use all the time for breakfast. We normally make it as a blackberry and apple compote, but it would work with most soft fruit.

The reason we’ve chosen this one is that it’s getting to the time of year when we can get lots of lovely soft fruit cheaply (or for free if your garden has as many brambles blackberry bushes as ours).  We’re also lucky enough to have a few old apple trees in the garden too. The problem is that the fruit often goes off before you can use it. Part of our sustainable living plan is to ensure we make compote out of any of them that aren’t going to be eaten in time. The recipe originated as the River Cottage compote recipe, but I’ve amended it over time to make it as simple as possible.

I’ve tried to make the recipe as generic as possible, so it’ll work with whatever fruit you have at hand. The basic ratio is ⅓ sugar to soft fruit weight.


  • Any amount of soft fruit – eg 600g blackberries
  • 1 apple per 100g soft fruit – eg 6 apples
  • ⅓ the weight of the soft fruit in granulated sugar – eg 200g
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice for every 100g soft fruit – eg 6 tsp
  • Spice (optional) – eg a star anise or a cinnamon stick


  1. Put all the ingredients in a pan and heat slowly to release fruit juices
  2. Simmer uncovered until it starts to thicken to the consistency you like (normally about 20 mins in my case)
  3. Once cool, pop your fruit compote into a mason jar and you’ll be a total hipster

This recipe is so ludicrously easy and super tasty. A super healthy way to start the day as well. At some point I’ll put up the bircher recipe, as shown in the image above, as it’s taken a while to perfect it.

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