As I promised in this post, which was actually long time ago, here comes a tutorial, and this time it’s our first kitchen related post.As you might have read in this post, my husband is a cook, so back in October he decided to try a short and easy recipe.
His grandma has a jujube tree. I didn’t know of the existence of this plant until I started dating him.
There is a very cute expression in Italian relate to the jujube: andare in brodo di giuggiole, which means to be over the moon. But I actually thought that it was just an old phrase with no connection to reality; but then I saw and tried the fruit. And I have to admit I love it: it’s like an apple with a bittersweet aftertaste.
Anyway, October is the month of jujube in Veneto, the region where we used to live, so when the tree at his grandma’s house was covered with the small brown fruits, we picked some. Once home, Matteo slowly made it a compote. It was great, not too sugary with a really nice texture.
So we thought that it could be a great present for Christmas. So we went back to the tree and picked a much bigger amount. And here comes the tutorial.
Start by rinsing well the fruit and then with an olive/cherries pitter eliminate each pit. It’s a very long task, but it is worth it, especially since you don’t want anybody to break a tooth or worse while enjoying your compote.
Once the fruit is ready, put it in a saucepan, add a bit of water and cook it on low heat. Remember to stir often. The fruit will start to soften and then it will slowly turn into a sort of baby-food. You can start try it and add as much sugar as you want. It basically depends on your taste and what you’re going to use the compote for.
My suggestion is that if you put a lot of sugar it will be more like a jam and you will probably want to eat it for breakfast. By Matteo’s compote isn’t that sweet, so its best companion is cheese. Just spread it on croutons and a little slice of 3-month Asiago is the perfect combination, trust me!
But leaving aside the mouth-watering memory… once the compote has rested and cooled down, you should divide it immediately in mason jars. Matteo boiled little mason jars from Bormioli’s Quattro Stagioni, poured in the right amount of compote, sealed them with their caps and let them upside down until they were vacuum sealed.
The compote needs to rest for about two months in a dry and dark place, so we left it in a cupboard until Christmas and a couple of days before it was time for me to try the make transform then in attractive presents, because you know that you should also please the eye.
Out of different types of Christmas fabric leftovers I made circular covers that I later tied around the jar right under the lid with white twine. I didn’t bother too much of obtaining a perfect shape, I just wanted the covers to be cute.
I also printed out some tags, like the ones I made for the christmas presents, that said: Compote di giuggiole – M+S – 10.13 (the date we prepared the compote).
And then it was time to give it: everybody liked it, the presentation, the taste, everything. So I can say it was a really good idea with a perfect result.
p.s: in addition to the jujube compote we gave also little bags filled with spices or tea, or spice mix. In this picture you’ll see that it was nothing fancy: just simple plastic bags, with a red pepar tag with the name of the content and a heart shape sticker just for color. But everybody enjoyed those presents as well, probably because they included some different type of spices to what people in Italy is used to. We put Jerk Chicken seasoning, Zatar, Caribean Salt, Ginger Tea Mix and a couple of different seasoning for pasta, mainly with oregano and pepper.