This recipe was inspired by Amanda's amazing Roast Feta with Thyme Honey recipe. When I came across it, I knew I wanted to try making baked feta. I happened to have some fresh blackberries on hand and thought they might make a nice subsitute for the honey.
You can use the compote as soon as you make it, however, I think it is even better if left in the fridge overnight and warmed before using. —Oops! Were you gonna eat that?
For the rosemary blackberry compote
black peppercorns (if you don't have whole peppercorns, use a few good grinds of black pepper)
juniper berries (if you can't find these, you can use a bay leaf)
In a single layer of cheese cloth, tie up the peppercorns, juniper berries, and rosemary sprig, so they are easier to fish out once the compote has finished cooking.
Place all the ingredients, including the cheese cloth, in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Make sure the cheese cloth is nestled under the blackberries.
Once the mixture has begun to simmer and the blackberries have started to give up their juices, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the blackberries have broken up and the consistency is syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes. You should end up with roughly 1 cup of compote.
You can use the compote immediately—fish out the cheese cloth. However, I like to chill it in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight, letting the flavors set up.
For the baked feta
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place an oven rack in the upper third of your oven.
Coat the feta with the olive oil and place in a small oven proof baking dish, ideally one you can serve out of.
Bake the feta until it is softening, about 8 minutes. At that point, switch to the broiler setting and broil the cheese until the top is starting to brown. In my oven it took about 3 minutes, but watch carefully.
Remove from the oven and spoon over the desired amount of warm blackberry compote—I use about half a cup and freeze the other half for future use. Serve immediately with rustic crackers.