Although this recipe appears simple, it yields a beautiful compote with complex flavor. I love the concept of folding whole fresh blueberries into a puree of themselves.
The fresh thyme in this recipe adds a subtle brightness to the blueberries. The flavor it imparts is faint, but I find it to be both floral and grassy, which compliments the blueberries nicely. You could replace the thyme with a couple of bay leaves and it would add a little peppery herbal flavor. I like the idea of fresh herbs mingled in with my dessert. I don’t crave pure sweetness, and I find the gentle herbal flavor compelling. —Josh Cohen
Add half of the blueberries to a medium pot, along with the water and the sugar. If using the fresh thyme, add it now as well. Set the pot over high heat. Simmer the blueberries for approximately 8 minutes, until they burst and fully released their juices. When the cooked blueberries look stewed and shriveled, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Remove and discard the sprigs of fresh thyme. Add the vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a mixing bowl and fold the remaining fresh blueberries into the puree. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Serve with greek yogurt, ice cream, cake, or anything else your heart desires!
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.