A sunny peach compote recipe with a touch of elderflower cordial! This is a great topping for a light and summery dessert. Try it with yoghurt, on panna cotta or ice cream.
What is Elderflower Cordial?
A cordial is essentially a concentrated fruit syrup. These are diluted with water (still or sparkling) to make a refreshing drink.
Elderflower is a popular flavour for cordial in Britain. This is due to the fact that elderberry trees are very common in the countryside. Elderflower are white blossoms on the elderberry tree, which many people forage when in season. These are then used to brew homemade cordials.
What does Elderflower taste like?
If you have never had elderflower, it is a bit difficult to describe. Elderflower is not particularly floral as a flavour, so it is not like rose or jasmine.
Instead, elderflower is light and sweet. It is more like a fruit than a flower and comparable to pear in subtlety. You can often find elderflower mixed with other flavours as an accent.
Pairing Peach and Elderflower
Elderflower is a sweet flavour which works well to accentuate the fruitiness of peach. There are various recipes pairing the two, mainly in drinks. One of my favourites is a Peach and Elderflower Bellini, which combines elderflower cordial with peach purée and prosecco.
In my peach compote the elderflower is an enhancement rather than the star of the show.
Alternatives for Elderflower Cordial
Elderflower cordial is not as widely available in the US as the UK. Cordials in general have grown in popularity over recent years and it is possible to find elderflower cordial, but might require a bit of hunting.
If you struggle to find elderflower cordial, try to look for elderflower syrup, such as Monin's. Alternatively, you can try:
- Lemon juice
- Elderflower liqueur
Tips for Making Peach Compote
Compotes are extremely easy to throw together. They essentially require three ingredients:
- Fruit: in this case fresh peach. You want to use ripe fruit for maximum flavour and juice.
- Liquid: in this case a bit of elderflower cordial. Traditionally compotes are simply made with water.
- Sugar: generally sugared to personal preferences. You may need more or less sugar dependent on the type of fruit or the level of ripeness.
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat. You will want to stir regularly until the sugar has dissolved, to avoid any sugar crystals forming.
Once your sugar has dissolved, continue cooking the compote as the mixture will boil and begin to reduce. I recommend cooking and stirring for 10 minutes to thicken this. If you are happy with a thinner sauce, you can remove from the heat sooner. Alternatively you can continue to cook for longer than 10 minutes to reduce further. Take care to lower to a simmer if you intend to cook for longer - this will help to avoid catching and burning the mixture.
Ideas for Using Peach Compote
Fruit compotes are fantastic accompaniments to many desserts. Some ideas for using this compote:
- Mix into yoghurt for an easy and healthy breakfast or snack.
- Topping to panna cotta. Try replacing my cherry compote with this peach version in my Cherry Panna Cotta recipe.
- Add to ice cream. You could either top off ice cream with a bit of compote or mix the compote into a homemade ice cream recipe for an easy peach ice cream.
- Serve alongside cake. This peach compote would go well with Angel Food Cake or Pound Cake.
FAQs for Peach Compote
Compote can keep for quite some time if stored properly. In an airtight container, this compote can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. It can be frozen if you need to store for longer, just defrost before using.
Absolutely. See above for some suggested alternatives if you can't find elderflower cordial or would rather not use it. Simple water will work fine if you want a neutral flavour in your compote.
Ideally, you should use fruit that is more ripe (leaning towards overripe). This is because ripe fruit will be sweeter and release more juices. The pieces of fruit will also be softer and break down easier. You can use underripe fruit, but you may want to add more sugar and the final result may have firmer chunks of peach.
No, unlike jams and jellies, which require reaching a specific temperature to activate the gelling, compote does not need to 'set'. This means that you are simply looking to cook the fruit down to a sauce. Once your sugar has dissolved and the fruit has started to break down, you can cook your compote to reduce as much or as little as you would like. My recipe is a suggestion based on my preferences.
Yes - compote is a great recipe for using frozen fruits as these will break down quickly. Allow these to defrost first, to avoid excess water in the compote. Otherwise, cook from frozen, but allow extra time for thickening and reducing.
If you like this recipe, you may also like:
- Small Batch Strawberry Jam
- Vanilla Apricot Jam
- Bourbon Cherry Compote (in my Cherry Panna Cotta recipe)
- Lime Curd
Peach and Elderflower Compote
- 1 cup peaches, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon elderflower cordial
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat.
- Stir occasionally as the mixture cooks to ensure the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil.
- Allow to boil over the medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the fruit has started to break down. Be sure to stir occasionally as the sauce reduces and thickens.
- Remove from the heat and decant into a small bowl to cool.