Roasting the fruit caramelizes the sugars and juices, producing a rich depth of flavour and jewel-like colour. If the compote is too tart for your liking stir in a little more sugar or some honey while it is still hot.
500 grams strawberries
350 grams rhubarb
finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon and 1 orange
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
toasted brioche, sourdough or ciabatta
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Hull the strawberries and halve any large ones. Cut the rhubarb into 6 cm lengths. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow baking dish that will hold them snugly. If the dish is too large the syrup will catch and burn before the compote is cooked. I used a 25 cm x 35 cm wide dish.
Roast, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, gently moving the fruit every 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. The strawberries will release a lot of juice during cooking but this reduces to form a thick syrup by the end of cooking. Don’t stir the fruit roughly or it will disintegrate.
The compote will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week. Makes about 2 cups
Serving suggestions: Serve over muesli for breakfast; fill cooked, sweet pastry tart cases; sandwich a sponge together along with whipped cream; serve as an accompaniment to slices of Madeira or pound cake; serve with scones or pikelets.