Why you’ll love it
This peach compote is so quick and easy to make and it’s versatile too. Sweet, juicy peaches with a little cosy flavour from cinnamon, you’ll love this gorgeous dessert sauce.
If you’re lucky enough to have perfectly ripe, juicy summer peaches right now, this peach compote is just one glorious way to use them.
This gorgeous peach sauce goes from breakfast to dessert too; serve it on top of ice cream, pancakes, waffles, oats / porridge, yoghurt, cheesecakes, even rice pudding – there are endless opportunities to use it all up and that’s supposing you don’t just eat it all with a spoon on it’s own.
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Ingredients you’ll need
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Peaches: Fresh, perfectly ripe peaches will give you the best result but you could use frozen peaches if you can get them too.
- Sugar: Just a little white granulated sugar, keeps this recipe super simple and you can adjust the amount you use to how sweet your peaches are. You can swap the white sugar for brown sugar or even maple syrup!
- Lemon juice: Just a little lemon juice adds a slight tang and balance and keeps this peach compote refreshing. Juice from fresh lemons is best.
- Vanilla extract: I could say this is optional but I won’t. Vanilla actually intensifies the peach flavour and adds it’s own flavour too so it’s worth keeping this in.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is optional, however, it goes so beautifully with peaches. It adds a certain cosiness but doesn’t detract from the sweet and refreshing flavour of the peaches, just enhances it.
How to tell when peaches are ripe
Be careful when handling fresh peaches as their delicate flesh can bruise easily. There are a few easy ways to choose the best peaches.
- Select peaches with blemish free skin: Look the peach over and make sure it doesn’t have any blemishes or bruises as these will affect the flesh on the inside.
- The colour: There should be no green patches or spots on the peach. Peaches will become more red as they ripen so look for ones where there is a good portion of red to the skin.
- Give it a sniff: Smell the stem end and it should smell sweet and peachy.
- Test it’s weight: A good, juicy peach will feel heavy for its size when hold it.
- Very gently squeeze: Be very gentle but give it a little squeeze – it should have a slight give. Keep in mind that squeezing peaches can bruise them, so you only need to squeeze gently.
How to make peach compote (step-by-step)
This gorgeous peach sauce is incredibly (and I mean incredibly) easy to make! You literally will combine things in a pan and cook until soft and syrupy – luscious.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Combine ingredients: So, grab yourself a medium or large saucepan. I like a heavy based stainless steel saucepan for this as they distribute heat nice and evenly for an even cook. Combine the peaches, a little water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon and stir it all together over medium heat (photo 1).
- Cook the peaches: As it cooks, the peaches will release some juice – lots if they’re really juicy ones. Let it boil, then drop to a simmer, stirring every so often until the peaches soften and the sauce becomes syrupy.
- If your peaches are extra juicy and you feel you’d like to thicken it, there is the option to add a little cornflour (US cornstarch) until it thickens up.
- Add the vanilla and let the peach compote cool a little.
This whole process takes 10-15 minutes – it just couldn’t be simpler.
How to cut peaches
For the most part, peaches are really simple to cut and prepare but it’s worth going through here. If you have perfectly ripe peaches then it’s very easy but if your peaches are underripe or overripe, it can be trickier.
- To start, remove any portion of stem that might still be attached and give the peaches a quick wash and dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel.
- There is a line that runs around peaches from the stem down and this is a great guide. Hold the peach in one hand with the stem end pointing up.
- Hold a paring knife so the blade is horizontal and cut down into the peach through that line on the stem end until you hit the stone or peach pit in the centre.
- Now simply roll the peach as you hold the knife to cut a line right around the middle.
- Hold the two halves of the peach in either palm and very gently twist until it comes apart.
Freestone or clingstone? Some peaches have a stone that will almost fall out and these are called freestone peaches – winning! Others will have a stone or pit that clings to the fruit which sadly tend to be more common – these are called cling or clingstone peaches.
- If you don’t have a freestone peach, use a very small cookie scoop or a melon baller to scoop that stone out. A teaspoon works too though takes a little more work since they tend to have quite a blunt edge. Whatever you use, drag it in a circle around and under the stone before trying to lever it out.
- Now you have two peaches halves and no stone, you can simply slice the peach or dice it like we do for this peach compote and use at will.
How to serve peach compote
You can use peach compote for ice cream – both on top and mixed through it like my upcoming peach cobbler ice cream. Fruit compotes are lovely served over the top of pancakes and waffles, French toast, oatmeal, yoghurt for breakfast or serve it over ice cream, panna cotta or cake for dessert. If you love a sweet and savoury vibe, you can serve it with pork chops and it’s divine. Try it with these recipes;
- Coconut panna cotta – pour the peach compote over the top at serving.
- Baked cheesecake – pour the peach compote over the top at serving.
- Easy fluffy pancakes – serve the compote on the side to add as desired.
- Through ice cream – Give it a slight mash or a blend and stir it through a vanilla ice cream base before freezing.
- Rice pudding– add a dollop right on top .
- Peach melba cupcakes – use it to top or fill the centres.
- Cinnamon rolls – swap the blueberry compote in this recipe for peach.
- Cheesecake parfaits – replace the blueberry here too.
- Celebratory breakfast board – add it here for something special.
Peach compote can be served warm or cool.
Peach compote is a quick and simple peach sauce. Chunks of peaches are cooked in their own juice with some sugar and maybe some spices until softened and syrupy.
No. You don’t need to peel the peaches and in fact, I’ve never peeled a peach for any dessert I’ve made. The colour of the skin is lovely and it softens perfectly so would just be such a waste.
– Spices such as cinnamon, all spice, cloves, nutmeg and ginger all compliment peaches nicely.
– Liqueurs / alcohol: Bourbon, brandy, champagne, cognac, amaretto and kirsch are wonderful.
– Other fruits: Apricots, blackberries, cherries, lemon, nectarines, orange, plums and raspberries are gorgeous with peaches.
Fruit compotes are made up mainly of fruit and a little sugar. Sometimes they will have a little citrus added for tang and spices for extra flavour.
Yield and storage
This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of peach compote.
Keep the peach compote stored in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Did you try this easy peach compote recipe?
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- 3 ½ cups diced peaches, discard pits, but don’t peel (~650g /1 ½lb before prep)
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water (notes 1)
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice (notes 1)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (US cornstarch), optional
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the peaches, sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon. They’ll start to release their juice fairly quickly.
- Let it come to a boil then adjust the heat as needed to keep it at a low simmer stirring every so often for about 10 minutes. The peach juice which will slowly thicken over this time. Once the peaches are nice and soft and syrupy, the peach compote is ready.
- If your peaches are extra juicy and you feel there is too much liquid you can combine the cornflour with two teaspoons of water and slowly dribble it into the peaches while stirring constantly so that it doesn’t turn lumpy. Do this slowly and stop when you’re happy with the thickness. It will thicken a little more on cooling.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla then allow to cool completely. You can also stir in some more sugar if it doesn’t taste sweet enough.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- For best results, use very ripe peaches at their peak.
- Sugar: You can swap the white sugar for brown sugar or for maple syrup. You could even use honey, though it will add quite a strong flavour.
- Other variations/flavors: Try adding other spices to the mixture as it cooks to flavour it like a slice of fresh ginger, a single star anise. You can swap the ground cinnamon for a cinnamon stick for a milder cinnamon flavour. Try adding a tablespoon of liqueur or spirit like frangelico, amaretto, rum or bourbon.
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