Strawberry – Rhubarb Compote and Homemade Popsicles
The abundance of fresh strawberries from my garden, and succulent rhubarb stalks from my daughter’s garden, prompted me to cook up a delicious fruity compote, and create a batch of refreshing popsicles, for my grandchildren to enjoy during this hot weather.
During my childhood in Eastern Europe, our choice of a refreshing drink, besides milk, was homemade compote, also known as Kompot or Uzvar, in Ukrainian.
Carbonated drinks were an occasional treat, and I feel we actually benefited from those choices, because we never craved nor acquired a specific taste or longing for these soft drinks. All to our health advantage of course.
Homemade compote is inexpensive and easy to prepare, and you have full control over the flavor and sweetness to appease your own taste.
Here is one version of my Strawberry – Rhubarb Compote.
You can substitute other seasonal fruits, and use honey instead of jello as a sweetener, to create different flavors of homemade compote.
Compote may be served warm, or cold. It remains equally delicious.
- 10 cups (2.5 quarts) or cold water
- 2 cups of diced rhubarb (no need to peel – read this)
- 2 apples, cored, and diced (I used Gala apples)
- 2 cups of strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- 1/4 cup of Cherry Craisins (optional)
- 1 – 3oz package or Strawberry Jello, or flavor or your choice (Cranberry or Cherry Jello is great as well) see TIP below.
- Pour the cold water into a large pot.
- Add all the fruits, and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Mix in jello powder, until dissolved, cook another 5 minutes.
- Remove compote from heat and cool off.
- Add more sweetener or lemon juice, if you desire. I actually added another 1.5 cups of boiled water, to thin it out.
- Serve it as is, or use a blender to puree it before serving.
We like our compote as is, since we enjoy scooping out the cooked fruit from the bottom of our cup, while drinking up the liquid.
Making Popsicles out of remaining compote fruit.
- Pour off the liquid compote and keep refrigerated if not used within a reasonable time.
- Place the fruit in a blender (there is always lots of fruit remaining since you serve more liquid than fruit as a drink)
- Puree it.
- Add 1 cup of Strawberry Yogurt, or any yogurt of your choice (optional).
- Fill popsicle containers with the puree (I was able to make more than a dozen of popsicles).
- Freeze until totally set, or overnight.
Voila!!! You just made a bunch of popsicles that are fresh, fruity, not too sweet, and without preservatives, for your family to enjoy.
TIP: You may replace the jello with brown sugar, or honey, as your compote sweetener.
I like to use jello, because it adds color and flavor to the compote, and serves as a sweetener at the same time. You can use the same fruits, but different flavor jello, and change your compote color and flavor dramatically. Also, any dried fruits may be used for compote, if fresh fruits are out of season.