Short Recipe: Apple Compote (Prelude to an apple tart)

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The apple season a while back transformed supermarket fruit shelves into a palette of different shades of red (and green). The visual appeal had drawn on TummyTroll to cook something out of them. #phangchewfat had her go at the apples with some rustic-looking Salted Caramel Apple Tartlets, while I opted for a simpler apple tart. This is the first of two recipes documenting the process of making an apple tart, starting with the making of the filling!

There’s such a large variety of apples – from the Jazz-y to the dainty Pink Lady. Although I have always preferred the crispy and refreshing Fuji apple in the past, I have rediscovered and taken a liking to the deep flavours of other varieties such as Cox and Royal Gala (also the cider variety) in the past few years here in UK. However, not all apples are suitable for cooking, as some varieties will quickly vanish into a pulp under heat. Traditional cooking apples include Bramley and Granny Smith. For this recipe, I used Braeburn apple which has a more gentle tartness, but the variety of choice is best subjected to availability and quality.

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Ingredients for Apple Compote: Serves 4

Apple Compote
6 Medium Cooking Apples (Braeburn, Bramley, Granny Smith or any locally available variety)
60g White Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
8 whole Cloves
1/3 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
1 tablespoon of Calvados (optional)

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Step 1: Peel, core and cube the apples. (And perhaps sneak a few cubes into your mouth) A good way to delay the browning is to submerge the cut apples in bowl of water with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. You can vary the size of the cubes based on the desired texture of the compote. I went for a rather large size of around 2cm wide as I wanted to retain the bite of the fruit.

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Step 2: Add the water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves into a saucepan and heat to a boil. Do this either before or halfway through handling the apples, depending on your speed.

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Step 3: Add the apples into the saucepan once the liquid comes to a boil. Bring the apple mixture to a boil again and turn the heat down to a medium-low. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the apple chunks, stirring occasionally to make sure the apples at the top get their chance to simmer in the heat below.

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Step 4: You know it’s about done when the scent of apple and spice perfumes the kitchen! Once you’re satisfied with the texture of the apple, remove the saucepan from heat and add in the nutmeg as well as the Calvados if you’re using it. Give it a final stir and leave to cool.

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This compote can be enjoyed with bread or as an accompaniment to a Panna Cotta. Or it can be used in an apple tart! Visit TummyTroll in a few days’ time for the apple tart recipe!

Posted by #chubchunchua

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