Alors, je me demande, pourquoi est-ce que ce blog n’a pas encore un post français ? Et voilà la réponse: compote de pommes fait maison. Je l’ai mangé souvent dans les Vosges, et je pense que ça va ajouter une petite quelque chose à mon porridge.
Because this blog is mainly for anglophones, I will write the body of the post in English, ne vous inquietez pas. Applesauce is one thing, but French style homemade compote de pommes is something entirely different. I reckon you have a few apples laying around, and you are looking for something to do with them, right? Or you want a way to make your morning porridge even tastier? Here is the answer.
Gather your ingredients ! Apples, lemon, sugar, a splish splash of water and some spices are all it takes to achieve deliciousness.
As a babysitter in Paris, the young girl I would look after’s favourite compote was chestnut apple compote. When with her at the park, we would stop on the way to a shop where she would take one of those, I would always have an apple and apricot compote. Every day without fail, my go to snack was compote – at work or babysitting or just at home. In the Vosges, fresh hot apple compote was served as a dessert, with a splash of creme fraîche. I was addicted to this delicious mixture of fruits. And I was discouraged by how much plastic I was consuming if I bought it. Why not just make my own??
For one Bonne Maman conserves jar’s worth, it takes about three apples. Peel them, core them, and cut them into pieces. I did a mixture of tart and sweet apples, because that is what I had on hand. Realistically, any kind of apple should work fine. “Cut into pieces” is a bit vague as well. I sliced my apples like I would to serve as a snack, and some of the bigger slices I cut into pieces. They looked like this when they went into the pot.
Next, I added two tablespoons of water, and turned the stove on medium high. I waited until the mixture started to bubble, then reduced the heat and covered the pot. Then the magic happens. Every so often, I gave them a stir and checked in, but mostly I left the lid on and kept the apples cooking. After about 15 minutes, they were mostly cooked down but still had a bit of texture. Here are some pictures from along the way.
After it was mostly cooked down (see the second picture), I added two tablespoons of demerara sugar (whole cane sugar) and then a smattering of various spices to give it flavor. I added a pinch of crushed cloves, some nutmeg and some cinnamon, then squeezed half of a lemon into the mix. The lemon both tones down the sweetness, and adds a bit of acidity and also prevents the growth of bacteria as you jar and cool this mixture up.
Compote is incredibly versatile. You can do it with just about any fruit. As summer goes on, I am excited to make peach and apricot compotes, and will be attempting an apple and pear one next. You don’t need a recipe to make it, also. As a compote is essentially a textured fruit sauce, it needs to be eaten much sooner than jam would and is incredibly versatile. It can top ice cream as well as oatmeal, have it over pancakes, or serve it with cheese and crackers at a dinner party. You can make it with apples, or berries of any variety (even frozen!), peach and apricot are my favorites, or any combination thereof.
It takes 30 minutes start to finish, so it is an easy thing to whip up at a moment’s notice. One of my pet projects this summer will be compote-ing everything. The sugar can even be omitted or replaced with any other sweetener – vanilla, maple syrup, honey, etc…
Compote de Pommes
3 apples, preferably tart, peeled, cored and diced
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sugar
the juice of 1/2 lemon
spices to your liking (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove)
1. Place your apples into a saucepan over medium high heat and add the water. Wait until you can hear them bubbling.
2. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot, stirring every so often, for about 15 minutes, or until the apples are broken down with still some texture.
3. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and spices and stir, keeping on the heat for about 3 more minutes.
4. Remove from heat and place into either a jar for storage (can be kept in the fridge for up to a week), or serve immediately over top ice cream or with a dollop of creme fraîche.