Cardamon spiced apple compote
To me there is something perfect about apple compote. It is comforting yet healthy. Satiating without a hint of heaviness. It reminds me the house I lived in, in Norway with my mum. We lived in a small annex flat attached to a big house on top of a hill. We had the most beautiful view of Oslo fjord and a long garden than sloped down towards the road. On long summer nights we would have barbeques and laze on the swing seat. In winter we made icy runs to sledge down complete with the obligatory jumps. In the autumn I would be send to the bottom of the garden to the apple trees. I spent many an hour trundling up and down the garden with a bag full of windfalls whilst my mum sat in the kitchen, her red and green apron on, peeling and chopping. We didn’t dream up exotic recipes for our apples, they were peeled, chopped and stewed. Some went into apple crumble with a crunchy oaty top, the good ones were sliced and fanned out on almond, apple cake. Most stewed in the pan, no sugar added, sprinkled with cinnamon. This time of year it is easy to cast my mind back to those hazy days. Sitting on the back step, eating stewed apples as fast as my mum could make them. Once the initial excitement abated mum would freeze batches ready to be pulled out in the colder months and stirred into porridge or rice pudding.
This recipe is barely a recipe, instead it is more a guide, a how to. Apples are now in season and reasonable, any market will be laden with them. If you can, buy the local ones. Not only will they taste better but they will also have traveled less and contain far more vitamins. Stewed apple compote is perfect on top of yoghurt or stirred into porridge. You can use it in baking to bind ingredients together removing the need for fat. Flapjacks & fruit cake are lighter and healthier when you use stewed apple (recipes to follow I promise). It is also a great snack on its own or sprinkled with toasted almonds. I added cardamon to mine because it is a quintessential Nordic spice. It has body and warmth to it. You can easily buy it online, or if you are a Londoner then swing by the Scandinavian Kitchen on Great Titchfield Street. There you can eat cinnamon buns, sample beetroot salad and multiple types of liquorice and pick up some cardamon for this recipe. This basic recipe works with any seasonal fruit and you could easily add in pears, dried apricots or plums to this one. You need 2 apples per person so add more or less to this as you need to. I hope you make this and love it as much as I do.
500g of washed, chopped apples (I dont peel mine)
4 tbsp water
2 tsp spices – cardamon, cinnamon or ginger work well
Place your fruit into a heavy bottomed pan
Add the water
Cook the fruit over a low to medium heat with the lid on for approx 20 minutes
Once the fruit has softened, remove the lid and cook until the liquid reduces
If you want a super smooth consistency then allow to cool before placing the compote into a blender for 2 minutes