Apple Compote Is an Elegant Topping (and Delicious on Its Own)

Today, compote is normally a topping. Stella Parks’ created a recipe to prepare apple compote the old fashioned way, as a dessert dish. She uses a mix of apples. They are peeled, cored, and sliced. Extra care is used to pare down any sharp edges. They are then poached in a syrup of apple cider and brown sugar with lemon peel and cinnamon. Drain the apples when they are Al Dente. Serve warm or at room temperature. The syrup can be reduced and used to sweeten drinks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Do leave enough syrup to keep the apples glistening and well sauced, but not so much that the fruit is swimming in the bowl, a surefire way to waterlog your dessert
  • According to my 19th-century guide, compotes are not meant to be stored long-term, likely because reheating would destroy their delicate, tender texture
  • I love this apple compote spooned over thick slices of gingerbread, dishes of rice pudding, and scoops of cinnamon ice cream, but it’s a nice touch for crispy yeast-raised waffles and French toast

“While today’s chefs are more likely to treat compotes as an accompaniment to some other dessert than as a stand-alone dish, I wanted to make my recipe the old-fashioned way, with carefully sliced and peeled fruit lightly cooked in an aromatic syrup.”

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