Strawberry-Cherry Compote

IMG_2281This compote is meant to be used to fill the mochi from Johnny Iuzzini’s book.  The recipe calls for rhubarb.  (At the tasting, he said that he really likes rhubarb.)  I subbed cherries.  Colorado cherries are fantastic and I even buy big tubs at the farmer’s market to freeze every year.  They started showing up in the middle of May and are great this year.

What you need to know:  Agar agar comes in several types.  The flaked type is prevalent everywhere, usually in the Asian aisle of the grocery store.  The powder is harder to find but can be found in Asian markets or on the web.  The basic substitution is about 1T flaked or 1tsp powdered to 1 tsp gelatin.  (1T flaked/1 tsp powdered will set 1 C liquid.)  You may need more if you’re trying to set something that is very acidic.

So, if you only have flaked, you’ll need to change teaspoon to tablespoon in the recipe.  I also found that the gram measurements (for the items in this recipe) were a little off.  (I just got a great new toy.  [post link here].  It comes with it’s own mini weight to test the scale.)  I’d go ahead and check the weights with the ingredients you are able to find before starting or e-mail me for my measurements.

Also, with the flaked agar agar, you need to bring the liquid up to a boil, then down to a simmer, and simmer for almost 5 minutes.  The flakes need to have dissolved.  I saved more than 2T of liquid for the gelatin, let it bloom for 5 min, boil, and then added it without any problem to the agar agar and liquid in the other pot.

Parfait made with yogurt & compote

Parfait made with yogurt & compote

Result:  What the net needs is smell-o-vision.  First you cook the fruit just like jam.  Then you cook the juice with agar agar.  My daughter kept coming in to tell me that it smelled fantastic and she wanted some.   She liked eating it straight.  It was also good on yogurt and on top of pancakes.

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