We are finally beginning to feel the subtle seasonal shift around here, as summer ever so slowly gives way to fall. That teasing temperature is finally beginning to cool a bit, the autumn winds are blowing and the daylight hours are quickly growing shorter. For the first time, in what seems like forever, the very thought of a hot cup tea or a steaming bowl of stew doesn’t send me instantly into a sweat. At last, the pumpkin and the autumn spice seem nice and seasonally appropriate to use in a culinary exploration. However, with my extra hour of sunlight and an extra hour of sleep, I’m in a sunny sort of mood this morning and craving something sweet. So, I think I will forgo the earthy flavors of fall and revisit the sweetness of the summer fruits with some fancy pancakes for breakfast.
I always look forward to this particular Sunday when Daylight-Savings Time ends. There is something about that one-hour shift that creates this perfect leisurely weekend vibe. Something about that one extra hour that makes me feel I’ve been granted the luxury of a lazy day. You know, that kind of vibe that makes you want to stay in your pajamas all day, eat pancakes in bed, lounge around and do absolutely nothing productive? Yes, I love that feeling, too. Now, I am not usually much of a breakfast person. Don’t get me wrong, I adore breakfast foods…pancakes, porridge, omelets and hash browns…but I rarely eat them for breakfast. I am more of a brunch sort of gal and I often enjoy a hearty breakfast for dinner. But once in a while, that perfect weekend vibe calls for pancakes for breakfast and today I should probably make ’em fancy.
I think this would be the perfect occasion for one of those jars of cherry-berry fruit compote I stashed away back in the summer months. At the time, I was swimming in an overabundance of stone fruits and berries. Feeling uninspired and experiencing a serious funk in my kitchen creativity, I didn’t know what to do with it all, so I just jammed it into jars and froze it for another day.
Fruit compote is a simple spread made with fresh fruit and a little sweetener. Simply chop up a bunch of fruit, toss it into a pot with your preferred sweetener and simmer it until it’s reduced to a chunky/saucy consistency. It is just the thing for one of those un-recipe sort of situations…yes, this is one of those situations and I apologize to those of you who require a proper recipe. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow, use what you got on hand and be a little adventurous. At the time I made this fruit compote, I had an overabundance of organic stone fruit from my weekly CSA box: peaches, nectarines and plums of every color. They were so very pretty to look at and made for lovely summer kitchen decor, but they were ripening fast and I couldn’t store them much longer. The same was true for the berries and the cherries, too, so I chopped it all up, threw it in a pot and set it to simmer with a little sweetener.
Personally, I find most fruit to be naturally sweet enough, though I think the plums require a little added sweetener to temper the tartness of their flavor. In the past, I have been inclined to use low glycemic sweeteners, like stevia or coconut palm sugar, to keep the sugar content down. Lately, we have been examining, rethinking and prioritizing the whole sugar thing in our household and we have been opting to use local raw honey for occasions such as this. Supposedly the natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties of unprocessed honey can help promote digestive health. Plus, you get the benefits of the enzymes, vitamins, anti-oxidants and allergy-fighting potential contained in raw honey from local bees. Not to mention the fact that I am completely enamored with all the beautiful colors and flavors of the many different varieties. It doesn’t take much to sweeten a pot of simmering fruit, a tablespoon or so for a few cups of fruit. Once the fruit is reduced to a chunky, yet saucy consistency, put it in jars and store it in the freezer.
Fruit compote is very versatile, easy to make and a great way to use up an overabundance of fruit. You can mix it into your chia pudding, top your yogurt, flavor your oatmeal or layer your favorite breakfast parfait. And it’s dreamy in a bowl of ice-cream or on top of a slice of cheesecake! But this particular day, I think I will use it to smother some buckwheat pancakes. On second thought, since I’m feeling fancy, I think I will make buckwheat crepes. And fill them with sweet cherry-berry compote. And vanilla bean cashew cream. Yes! I do believe that is just the thing for this luxuriously lazy Sunday.
I made some buckwheat crepes a few months ago and they were pretty tasty. Of course, I have no recipe, but I will try to recreate them. If I remember correctly, I simply scooped a cup or so of buckwheat flour into a bowl, added an egg and enough water to make a thin batter. And in the interest of being fancy, I think I should add a little chocolate today. Two or three tablespoons of raw cacao powder ought to give my buckwheat crepes a slightly decadent, dessert-for-breakfast sort of feel. Especially stuffed with vanilla bean cashew cream and cherry-berry compote…
Pardon me, I hate to run, but those weekend vibes are beckoning. I have an extra hour today and some serious luxuriating to do. I hope you do, too.
Stay in your pajamas, make some fancy pancakes, enjoy your weekend vibes :)