If you feel that a bag of frozen blueberries lacks flavour, all is not lost. Luckily two essential Lebanese pantry ingredients are on hand to revive this often bland tasting berry. We’ve found that adding a tablespoon or two of Zejd’s pomegranate molasses and a touch of sumac produces a very different kind of blueberry. The fruit is revived with depth and a burst of citrus zing and your breakfast compote saved.
Pomegranate molasses, made from the juice of sour pomegranates, and sumac, a citrusy spice, are ingredients which belong to a culinary history of noble proportions. In Lebanon, these, and other foods preserved in traditional ways, have been beautifully documented by Barbara Abdeni Massaad. Her book Mouneh diligently records how pomegranate molasses and sumac are prepared and have been used. In the past, when mountain households in Lebanon wanted to add acidity, they were used instead of lemon. Their sharp tangy taste providing much loved acidity to salads, meat and vegetable dishes.
While pomegranate molasses and sumac are traditionally used in savoury dishes in Lebanon and Iran, their tangy potential is endless. We’re both firm believers that ingredients in your cupboards need to earn their keep. So it seemed logical to use them for their tangy goodness in this sweet dish. Without any added sugar, this simple compote proves that blueberries marry perfectly with these two fine Lebanese ingredients.
makes enough for 4
- No need to wait for the blueberries to defrost, put them in a small, heavy bottomed pan along with the pomegranate molasses over a medium heat, and stir to cover the berries with the molasses. With the back of the spoon you can squash the berries as they warm up to release their juice.
- Leave the mixture to bubble gently for a minute, until it has a jammy consistency.
- Add the sumac, and the rose water (if using) tasting and add more if required. Leave to cool.
Serve alongside plain yoghurt and granola, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. If you make double the quantities, there will be enough to reduce down a bit and add to the top of a crumble topped traybake for a pomegranate molasses sweat treat.
Works very well with supermarket frozen cherries, which seem to lack any sort of flavour!