Like apple pie, that’s what this tastes like. Spiced apple compote is an easy, delicious fall recipe and a good multitasker. Serve it to top overnight oats, cooked oatmeal, steel cut oats, or add to plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream for dessert. Make it in under 20 minutes and enjoy it warm, or cool, refrigerate and enjoy during the week warmed up. It’s so good you might want to make a double batch.
Choosing Apples for Spiced Apple Compote
Making apple compote makes the house smell like you’re making apple pie. The cooking apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove fill the house with aromas of fall and upcoming holidays. I buy Honeycrisp apples when I can find them. They have a wonderful sweet-tart flavor and are exceptionally aromatic.
If Honeycrisps are not available at your market, choose another sweet or sweet-tart apple variety. Check out this chart from the Washington Apple Commission for more information on apple varieties. Fuji and Gala apples are other good options. And be sure to choose organic, as apples are always on the Dirty Dozen list.
How to Make Spiced Apple Compote
Start by chopping a large apple into small dice. It’s easiest to core the apple using an apple corer, then cut the apple in half, lay the halves flat, then slice into wedges about a quarter inch wide. Next, chop each slice into small dice. One large apple should give you about 2 cups of diced apple and enough to serve 4 people 1/3 of a cup each of the apple compote.
Cook the diced apple in a little coconut oil until softened, then add the spices, maple syrup, walnuts and a little water. Simmer until the spices are fragrant and the compote is saucy. At the end, stir in your vanilla and the coconut thread. Enjoy warm, or cool completely and refrigerated tightly covered for about 5 days. Serve it over breakfast oats, yogurt or vanilla ice cream. I started with only 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to keep the sugar down, but add a second one for a sweeter compote.
Choosing Vanilla: Paste vs. Extract
Lately I’ve been using vanilla paste for my cooking needs. Vanilla paste has lovely flecks of vanilla bean and super vanilla flavor. Usually more concentrated, a little paste goes a long way. The brand I use is Tahitian Gold. I met these wonderful folks and got samples at the Products Expo West show this year and love the flavor and quality.
Right now their smallest jar is a pricey one pounder but it holds for two years in a cool pantry and is triple strength. Vanilla is labor-intensive to grow, and the price of vanilla has skyrocketed with increased global demand and bad weather. If you don’t think you will use it up within that time or don’t want to spend a small fortune, you could split it with a friend. I contacted the company and discussed offering smaller sizes for home chefs. They assured me they would. If you are considering buying a tub, call and ask for a sample to try before you buy. Find other brands of vanilla paste at fine cooking and spice stores.
Not to worry if you don’t have vanilla paste. A good quality, real vanilla extract works just fine. If you are a vanilla lover as I am, try a double strength vanilla extract.
Spiced Apple Compote
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 large Honeycrisp (or other) apple finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup start with 1, add second if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg or mace
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
- In a small (1-2 quart) pan, melt coconut oil over medium low heat. Add apple and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, walnuts and water. Cook, stirring occasionally until compote is thickened. Stir in the vanilla and coconut. Serve warm or cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.