Recipe: How to make a delicious Swedish spiced berry compote

Recipe: How to make a delicious Swedish spiced berry compote
This spiced berry compote is a great way to make berries last longer. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
Looking for a way to preserve all of those berries that seem to be everywhere in Sweden during the summer? Try food writer John Duxbury's recipe for delicious Swedish spiced berry compote.

This is delicious and interesting compote for grown-ups, but is not suitable for small children because of the spices left in the jam. It is excellent on scones, in porridge or on toast. The exact quantities don't really matter, so long as you use a total of 1 kg (2¼ lb) of fruit.


500 g(1¼ lb)strawberries, preferably smallish berries

300 g(½ lb)raspberries

100 g(¼ lb)blueberries

100 g(¼ lb)blackberries

2-3 star anise

8 juniper berries

1 lemon, juice finely grated zest

1 kg(5 cups)jam sugar

1 tsp butter, if required


1. Hull the strawberries, leaving them whole using a drinking straw as shown in the tips above.

2. Mix all the ingredients in a large pan. Stir thoroughly and leave to macerate for a couple of hours or overnight, until the juices have dissolved most of the sugar.

3. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar is all dissolved.

4. Increase the heat bringing the mixture to a steady boil.

5. Boil rapidly for six minutes or until a setting point is reached, stirring only occasionally to prevent burning.

6. Turn off the heat, leave the compote to cool for five minutes and then skim off the scum with a slotted spoon. If some scum persists stir in a little butter, which should help disperse the remaining scum.

7. Wait another 10 minutes or so, stir, ladle the jam into sterilised jars and cover. Use within 12 months.

If you want to test for a setting point, place three saucers in a freezer before you start heating. When you think you have reached a setting point, turn off the heat and place a teaspoon of the jam on one of the saucers. Wait one minute and then press the surface with your finger. For a firm set, when the setting point is reached the surface should wrinkle. If it doesn't, boil the compote for another minute and repeat the test again, always remembering to turn off the heat whilst testing.

Sterilising jars

Put the clean jars and their lids into a preheated oven at 140ºC (275ºF, gas 1, fan 130ºC) for 10 minutes to sterilise them.

Recipe published courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.