This sweet, sticky fruit compote recipe from Geoffrey Smeddle is a simple yet tasty spread, the perfect accompaniment to a strong blue cheese and a piece of crusty bread. The spice of the cloves add extra punch to the lovely flavours of apple, muscat and quince. A wonderful recipe to cook at home from the chef's campaign with the Sunday Herald.
Geoffrey Smeddle, proprietor and chef of The Peat Inn in Fife, started his career working for Herbert Berger at The Café Royal and for Christopher Galvin in London. He then sealed his reputation as one of Scotland’s top chefs by opening Terence Conran's Etain, in Glasgow.
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Start by preparing the quince purée. To do this, slice every quince in half lengthways, place a knob of butter and a small sprig of thyme in the middle of each, then sandwich the two halves back together and wrap each one in tin foil
12 large quince
30g of butter
12 sprigs of thyme
Place on a wire rack on a tray and bake in the oven at 190°C/Gas mark 5 until totally soft. This will take at least an hour and a half, possibly more depending on the size of the quince
Once soft, remove from the oven and stand until cool enough to handle. Open up each tin foil parcel and separate the two halves of quince. Scoop out the core with a teaspoon and discard
Now scoop out the soft flesh, placing it directly into the jug of a food blender. Add the remaining butter, Muscatel wine and a level tablespoon of icing sugar
20g of butter
120ml of Muscatel wine
1 tbsp of icing sugar
Blend to a purée then taste and adjust accordingly with icing sugar or Muscatel wine. If it is very thick and you are struggling to process it, add water to loosen, but don’t let it become too loose
Pass through a fine sieve and set aside until needed
To make the compote, peel the apples and the large quince, then cut these into an even-sized dice about half a centimetre in size
2 Granny Smith apples
1 large quince
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then sweat the diced shallot with the cloves until the shallot is soft. Do this over a gentle heat so it does not colour
20g of butter
1 banana shallot, finely diced
Once the shallot is soft, add the peeled apple and the quince and fry until soft. Finally add the soaked raisins with the soaking liquor, simmering gently to allow the liquid to evaporate down until almost totally gone
2 tbsp of raisins
Now remove from the heat and remove the cloves, then stir the purée made earlier into this apple and quince mixture
Place in a storage jar and allow to cool. This will keep in the fridge if sealed like jam for a month. Use within a week of opening. It can be rewarmed or served cold