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Mulberry Key Lime Compote

lemon verbena panna cotta with mulberry compote

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

One thing mulberries often lack is acidity, which can make their flavor seem insipid. What to do? Either pick them slightly unripe, or add something acidic, and the combination of key limes (the little ones) and mulberries is a match made in heaven.

I made a compote out of this to go alongside a panna cotta, but it would also be good next to a creme caramel, ice cream, or a cake. It would probably be a good pie filling and, if you strained it to remove the seeds, a great base for a mulberry sorbet.

Mulberries come ripe in May here in California, but you might have to wait as long as September in colder climates. You can substitute blackberries or raspberries, but if you do cut the amount of lime in half.

What if you can’t find key limes? First look in Latin markets, as they often have them. But if you absolutely cannot find them, use regular limes. It’s not the same, but it’ll be close.

Makes enough to go alongside dessert for 4-6

  • 2 1/2 cups mulberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Juice of 6 key limes or 2 regular ones
  • 2 heaping teaspoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons cold water


  1. Put the mulberries, lime juice and sugar into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Smash the mulberries with a potato masher to help keep things moist. Simmer this gently for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix the corn starch with the cold water until it dissolves. Pour it into the mulberry mixture and stir well to combine. It should thicken noticeably.
  3. Cook this for another 5 minutes or so, then turn it off the heat. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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2 responses to “Mulberry Key Lime Compote”

  1. Ask Evan: What Should I Do With Mulberries? | Good Food

    [...]  Don’t let any go to waste.  I assume you made a compote?  Here’s a recipe for a Mulberry Key Lime Compote from Hank Shaw, who has been on Good Food a couple of times.  You might also consider making a [...]

  2. Experiments | Canning Jars Blog

    [...] incredible recipes.  I was inspired by Hunter Angler Gardener Cook to make a panna cotta and fruit compote for it.  I was also interested in trying to recreate a coconut milk based seafood stew I had [...]

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