A red berry compote made from a mixture of red berries and cherry juice, Rote Grütze is one of the most popular parts of many German desserts.
What do you eat Rote Grütze with?
Rote Grütze goes well with so many things. You can eat it by itself, on top of ice cream or pancakes, with oatmeal, or on top of yogurt! The opportunities are endless so have fun with it.
What fruit should I use?
To keep the beautiful and traditional red color, I recommend only using red berries. But, this could be anything from strawberries, to red currants to cherries. I like to use frozen fruits in this recipe because they are less expensive and have delicious flavor.
Other than using any type of red berry, you can substitute cranberry juice for the cherry juice and arrow root starch in place of the cornstarch using a 1:1 ratio.
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Tips for making German Fruit Compote
- Use frozen fruit unless fresh is readily available and in season – be aware that this may change the weight slightly. If using fresh cherries, don’t weigh them until they have been pitted and the stems have been removed.
- Don’t worry about the raspberries thawing slightly while you prepare the rest of the compote.
- Wait to add the raspberries until the end – this will help them stay in tact and keep their shape.
- When you are heating the cherry juice and fruit in the sauce pot – DO NOT WALK AWAY. Ok that might be dramatic but it boils over very easily.
- If you want to eat Rote Grütze in the most traditional way, chill it after cooking for a couple of hours and the serve cold in a dessert bowl.
- Frozen Cherries: Cherries are a very classic ingredient in Rote Grütze. I prefer to buy them frozen because then they have already been de-pitted and you can get them year round.
- Frozen Red Currants: You can use fresh or frozen red currants. If you can’t find red currants, substitute them with frozen raspberries or frozen strawberries.
- Frozen Raspberries: Raspberries add a delicious brightness to the Rote Grütze. I can often find large bags of just frozen raspberries at Target . You can also buy a mixed bag of just strawberries and raspberries.
- Cherry Juice: I like to use tart cherry juice for this recipe but you can also use cranberry juice. Make sure to look for a juice with no sugar added.
- Granulated Sugar: Less than 100 grams of sugar helps to balance out the tartness of the fruit. Depending on which fruits you use you may need more or less sugar so make sure to taste the compote before letting it cool.
- Corn Starch: Rote Grütze uses starch to thicken it. Traditionally it is made with tapioca but I prefer to use arrowroot starch or corn starch. If you use tapioca you made need to play around with how much to add because I have not tested it yet.
How to make Rote Grütze from scratch
- In a medium sauce pot, combine the frozen cherries, red currants, and 310 ml of cherry juice.
- Place the pot over medium/high heat until it begins to boil. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and starch. Then pour the remaining cherry juice into the cornstarch mixture and whisk again.
- Once the contents of the pot have started to boil turn the heat down to medium. While whisking the fruit and juice constantly, pour in the starch mixture. Continue whisking and heating until it bubbles a for a few minutes (It should not be boiling) and the mixture has clearly thickened.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the raspberries. Keep stirring until the raspberries thawed out. The rote grütze can then be chilled (which will help it set even more) or served warm as is.
- 220 grams cherries frozen
- 175 grams red currants frozen
- 250 grams raspberries frozen
- 375 ml cherry juice
- 75 grams granulated sugar
- 27 grams corn starch or Arrow root starch
- In a medium sauce pot combine the cherries, red currants, and 310 ml of the cherry juice. Heat on medium high until boiling.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and starch. Then add in the remaining cherry juice and whisk again.
- Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and whisk in the starch mixture.
- Whisk continuously for about five minutes while the mixture cooks and thickens.
- Remove the pot from the heat and pour in the frozen raspberries. Stir to combine.
- Pour the contents into a heat safe container and place in the fridge to cool for at least one hour before serving.