Need a quick, super tasty, and not too sweet dessert sauce? Well, then rhubarb orange compote is a great sauce to make and have with your ice cream, or your pancakes, or maybe your strawberry scones! And it’s even vegan, gluten-free, and moderately healthy. (It is mostly fruit after all.)
Seeing long, red stalks of rhubarb at the market (or in a rhubarb patch if I’m lucky) gives me a mighty need for rhubarb orange compote! This is by far the easiest rhubarb recipe I make, and one that anyone who has no clue about cooking with rhubarb should try. Ever looked at rhubarb in the store and wondered what the heck to do with that? This is what you can do with it! And it’s a much lower bar than making a whole pie or cake. Anyone who loves rhubarb should try it too, but I figure you’re a little more confident in your rhubarb cooking skills, so you can try the Rhubarb Coffee Cake as well. 🙂
Most recipes I’ve seen for rhubarb compote call for a lot more sugar than this recipe, but I really enjoy the tartness of rhubarb and don’t want to cover it up too much. No sugar and it’s like eating plain cranberries. Way too tart most of the time! The only times I’ve eaten plain cranberries is in salads which had other sweet ingredients, so still sugar, just not directly on the cranberries. Rhubarb is the same way. You will need some sugar to balance it out and get to the sweet-tart happy middle which your taste buds will love. However, if you really keep your sugar intake very low, I’d suggest adding less, or even just seeing if the natural sugar that’s in the orange juice is enough to start, and then increasing the sugar to your taste.
While I love this recipe exactly as is, you might want to add some other spices, such as cloves or allspice. They work well in desserts and complement the cinnamon. Also, spiking the compote with a little orange liqueur, like Cointreau or Triple Sec, can be a fun addition for the adults in the family. 🙂 A scoop of vanilla ice cream and some spiked rhubarb orange compote? Now, that’s dessert!
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 4 cups (1½ lb) chopped rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold. This will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Thin, red stalks of rhubarb have a sweeter and more delicate flavor and are worth seeking out. However, I enjoy the compote with thick stalks as well.