Put the fruit in a frying pan and add the syrup. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, shaking the pan gently to coat the fruit with syrup. Add the butter, a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice, and continue to cook, swirling the fruit and butter around in the pan, another minute, or until the butter has melted.
Spoon the fruit compote onto 4 plates and place scoops of raspberry sorbet in the center of each serving.
Variation: To make an uncooked compote of tropical fruits, peel and cup up a ripe mango and a ripe papaya. Put in a bowl and add 1 cup of warm medium sugar syrup and the juices/pulp of 2 ripe passion fruits. Mix in a pinch of salt and chill for 1 hour. Serve with coconut ice cream, or plain in a hollowed-out meringue. For a warm compote put all the fruit in the syrup as above and cook in the same way as the berry compote, then serve on polenta pound cake.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Put the sugar and water in a pan. Bring the water to a boil, stirring constantly, until all the sugar is dissolved. Simmer 5 minutes, then let the syrup cool. Use as needed.
Recipe courtesy of Jeremiah Tower, Jeremiah Tower Cooks, Stewart Tabori and Chang, 2002