Ever wondered how to make homemade juice? Making Kompot (Компот) is super easy to make and has become a lost art. We live in a reconstituted juice heaven that's so easy to buy in the supermarkets. Homemade juice is healthier and tastier than store bought. It's a great way to use up extra fruit from your garden or freezer (or even an impulse fruit tray purchase from the store).
Kompot is popular homemade juice in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and across Eastern Europe. But how exactly is it different from normal fruit juice? Most juices we buy are reconstituted. That means fruit is juiced and reduced by evaporation before being re-mixed with water. Kompot is different.
Kompot is made by boiling water and fruits, usually in a large pot. Always made with fruits and berries that grow in a northern climate, like strawberries, apricots, plums, cherries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, apples and more. There is even kompot that's made from dried fruits, usually in the wintertime. I prefer making forest fruits juice, from raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. I love this combination best, and usually have an apple lying around, so I throw it in for good measure.
Don't confuse compote juice with compote, which is a stewed fruit dessert. This kompot recipe is a drink/juice, made from fruit. There is also a version of kompot that was used to preserve fruit for the winter, canned in juice. I'm sure that these all have common roots, and have been used in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years.
What Does Kompot Taste Like?
What does kompot juice taste like? No two Kompot recipes taste the same. It always depends on the fruits you throw in. I tend to always throw in apples and raspberries in the mix, as they add color and flavor. If you use light coloured fruits like apples and peaches, I find it lacks flavor, that's why we always make it with forest fruit berries. It can be served hot or cold, we usually enjoy it as a cold refreshing summer drink.
How to make Kompot Juice
It's so easy to make. Throw some fruit, a bit of sugar and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, infuse, strain and drink. No added unpronouncable ingredients, and you get to control your added sugar content. The sweetness depends on how sweet your fruit is. You need to adjust it to taste.
After bringing the fruit to a boil, remove from heat and cover the pot with a lid to further infuse. You can infuse the juice for only a few hours before using. However, I leave it overnight or until it cools, as I like to think I'm getting every last drop of flavor out. The strained fruit just goes to the chickens for a treat, or you could use it for baking.
Growing up, mum used to make pure pressed juice from berries called Mors (морс), but that juice is made differently from kompot recipe.
Can You Use Frozen Fruit?
While kompot is often made in the summer, with the fresh fruits of your garden or your dacha, you can absolutely use frozen fruit. Frozen fruit is available year round, and you can even freeze your own extra fruit to make kompot months later. Fresh raspberries are very expensive in Australia, so I always buy frozen raspberries when making kompot. I love the flavor that raspberries add to compote, and always add them in! Frozen fruit make it easy to enjoy homemade fruit juice, year round.
How to Preserve Kompot?
Kompot Homemade Juice traditionally has been preserved by 'canning' in large glass jars or bottles. As I mentioned, there is a version of kompot that was used to preserve fruit canned in juice. I don't like to fuss with that and just want the juice, no canned fruit required in this recipe. I find that regular kompot juice freezes really well. Just fill up a soft drink bottle about ¾ of the way full, and place it in the freezer. It's a fresh taste of summer when it's winter-time, or also tastes great heated up like a warm tea.
I think it's a perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer's day. Nothing tastes better than homemade fruit juice Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Kompot (Компот) Homemade Juice
- 6 cups raspberries
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 apples sliced optional
- 8 quart stock pot
- about 4 litres water (4 ½ quarts)
- 1 cup of sugar - to taste
- Place the fruit and sugar into the stock pot and fill up with water until pot is almost full.
- Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Taste. Add sugar if necessary.
- Cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow the fruit to infuse for a few hours, best overnight (if you started this in the evening.
- Strain the fruit using a colander (and cheesecloth if you like). Keep refrigerated and enjoy!