Strawberry and Ginger Compote

Words, Images & Recipe by Sam Hillman

Compote is essentially the thick glossy jam for people (like myself) who don't have the time, patience or skill set to make thick glossy jam. It's the jam of Gen Y; demanding no fancy ingredients (because nobody has pectin on hand, amirite?), no exact measurements and no attention span. It's about as uncomplicated as a recipe can get; throw it all into a pot and hope for the best. Fresh berries work. Frozen berries work. Those unenthusiastic berries lingering in the back of the fridge that are a bit too ugly to for your__granola,__work. Point of story: this compote will work.


3 cups of roughly chopped strawberries (you can also use a mix of strawberries or rasperries)

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

A good chunk of grated ginger

One vanilla bean, seeds scraped

A quarter cup of maple syrup or honey


Dump the lot in a saucepan (both vanilla bean and seeds) and simmer over low heat until it's thick and glossy. Maybe twenty minutes. Maybe half an hour. Stir here and there. Add a splash of orange juice or water if it's getting a bit too thick for your liking. Don't fret if it looks a bit thin, it will generally thicken up as it cools.

Spread over croissants or toast with loads of butter. Dollop on porridge. Eat by the spoon.