Make this easy Maple Rhubarb Compote recipe in under 15 minutes. Sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of cardamom, this simple gluten-free recipe is a versatile fruit compote that you’ll love for breakfast or an easy dessert. Stir it into yogurt or ricotta or spoon it over pancakes or your morning oatmeal.
TL;DR Maple Rhubarb Compote
Rhubarb looks like celery, although with red stalks instead of green ones. If you’ve ever crunched into a rhubarb stalk you’ll know that it’s naturally very tart! While technically a vegetable, most of us consider it a fruit. You may be able to find greenhouse-grown rhubarb year round, but the season for field-grown rhubarb goes from about March to June in North America.
When shopping for rhubarb look for firm, crisp rhubarb with shiny stems. A rough guide to quantity is that 1 stalk will yield about 1 cup of rhubarb. Of course, nature is not an assembly line mechanically producing identical-sized rhubarb stalks, so use your judgment to choose how many stalks you need.
Rhubarb is usually sold with the leaves cut off, but if you do buy some with leaves, please don’t eat them because they’re poisonous.
Finally, there’s no need to peel rhubarb. Your prep involves removing any remaining leafy bits and cutting off the stalks and any other gnarly-looking bits.
What is compote?
This recipe has three ingredients: rhubarb, maple syrup, and cardamom. Rhubarb is very tart and many recipes call for large quantities of sugar to balance the tartness. Here, instead of sugar, we’re using maple syrup and in a much smaller quantity. We’re adding a note of complexity with cardamom, which tastes like brown sugar with a tinge of pepper.
Finally, if you want the compote to be brightly coloured, you can add a fourth ingredient: beetroot powder. Beetroot powder is just dehyrated, ground-up beets. It’s got a sweet earthy flavour and provides a lovely vibrant hue to the rhubarb compote. Make sure you get any lumps out of it first, before you combine it with anything else. Blend it, pound it, spice-grinder it! Whatever you need to do.
Making The Rhubarb Compote
You can make this rhubarb compote in about 15 minutes. All of the work is in trimming and chopping the rhubarb. Remove any leaves (they are toxic) and cut the stem and any gnarly-looking bits. You don’t need to peel it. Chop it into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. If your stalks are not roughly even in size, you may need to cut them in half length-wise. Don’t get too fussed about this, as having some chunks of soft rhubarb in among the saucier rhubarb will provide texture.
Once you’re done chopping the rhubarb, measure out the maple syrup, find your cardamom and the hard stuff is all over. If you want your compote to be brightly coloured, you can add some beetroot powder. (We used about 3 teaspoons.) Put the rhubarb, maple syrup, and cardamom in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it’s at a boil, turn it down to a simmer and keep it there for about 12 minutes or so until the rhubarb is broken down. Stir it every few minutes. Let it cool and it’s ready to eat!
You can eat this Maple Rhubarb Compote warm or cold. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Spoon over ricotta. If you’re vegan, try our 1 minute-vegan ricotta.
- Make a parfait with granola, yogurt, and rhubarb compote
- Put a tablespoon or two on some vanilla ice cream
- Stir into your morning oatmeal. Or use it to make overnight oats!
- Pour over pancakes or crepes
- Serve with poundcake
- Make Eton Mess – Meringue, whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, and maple rhubarb compote. (If this appeals, I’d recommend making the compote with the smaller amount of maple syrup, as the meringue will be sweet).
- Make a quick trifle – Use purchased lady finger cookies, and combine with custard and rhubarb compote, along with something creamy, like whipping cream or whipped coconut cream.
Eating Together Made Easy
This Maple Rhubarb Compote is 100% plant-based, so it works for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. This compote would be a lovely way to unite a breakfast or brunch for a group of mixed eaters. Put out some compote, some chopped nuts (pistachios, slivered almonds, and toasted pecans would all go well) and a selection of ricotta and yogurts and let everyone tailor as desired.
Easy Maple Rhubarb Compote
- 4 cups rhubarb, sliced
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (For less sweet compote, use 2/3rds of a cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 3 teaspoons beetroot powder (optional)
- Put the rhubarb, maple syrup, cardamom, and beetroot powder (if using) in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has broken down.
StorageThis will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Nutrition InformationNutrition information is an estimate only, and does not include the optional beetroot powder, or any toppings.
Pin Maple Rhubarb Compote for Later
You might also like these recipes:
- Triple Berry Sauce (vegan)
- Rhubarb Tarts (vegan)
- Blood Orange Breakfast Salad (vegan or vegetarian)
- Beet Latte (another good use for beetroot powder!)