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Citrus fruit and rosemary compote

Serves 6Citrus-fruit-&-rosemary-compote on blue Moroccan bowl

Don’t think this is ordinary; it’s a stunning-looking dessert. The colours of the fruits sparkle together – just as the rosemary works beautifully with the citrus-fruit flavours.


  • 275ml (9 ½fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 175ml (6fl oz) water
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 ruby grapefruit


  1. Heat the orange juice with the water, sugar and 1 sprig of rosemary, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly syrupy, leaving about 300ml (10fl oz) liquid. Add the lemon juice and other rosemary sprigs. Leave to cool.
  2. Cut a slice from both the top and bottom of the fruits so that there is a flat base at each end. Remove the peel and pith by setting the fruits on one of their flat bases and cutting from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit and working your way around it.
  3. Now cut each fruit into thin slices. Pick out any seeds and throw them away. Put the fruit in a shallow bowl (plain white or glass is lovely), pour over the citrus syrup with the rosemary sprigs and chill.
  4. Serve with sweetened crème fraîche or whipped cream. Little almond biscuits are very good on the side.

also try...

…Spiced orange and red wine compote

In a saucepan, heat 500ml (18fl oz) red wine, 250ml (9fl oz) orange juice, 200g (7oz) caster sugar, 3 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick and 3 strips each of lemon and orange rind. Stir to help the sugar dissolve. Bring to the boil, simmer for 12 minutes, then cool completely. Add 2 tbsp Cointreau if you want. Prepare 9 oranges as above. Remove the rind from the syrup, then pour it over the orange slices. Chill to serve.


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