Old Fashioned Apple Compote

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Cook: 30 min.


10 servings

This is a simple but delicious apple compote. The emphasis is on the deliciousness of the apples, and the beautiful combination of lemon with apples. Each year in September my husband and I got to a "You pick" apple orchard and pick two big bags of Jonathan apples. Those are our favorites,


12 medium tart apples, cleaned, peeled, cored and sliced into medium slices
2 lemons (peel yellow strips from both, use 1/2 lemon's worth of juice), plus second halve's juice according to taste
2 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar (or less if you use sweet apples)


Peel the yellow zest from 2 lemons in strips (no white). Halve any particularly long strips. Put 1 of the peeled lemons aside.

Put 2 cups of water in large pot with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Put the peeled, cored and medium sliced apples in the pot as they are sliced. Stir occasionally to prevent browning. When all 12 apples are sliced put the pot on the burner and bring to a boil with cinnamon and sugar stirred in. Cover pot and turn down to high simmer, simmering about 15 mins or so, stirring occasionally until apples are soft. Some apples will retain shape, others will be slightly mushy.

Taste a cooled spoon of the compote. If too sweet add up to 1/2 reserved lemon. If not, skip the extra juice.

Serve warm or chilled. Once cooled, freezes for up to 1 year in airtight container or freezer bags.

Editor's Note

The amount of sugar and lemon may need to vary according to the sweetness or tartness of the apples. If the apple is very sweet, try less than 1 cup. If very tart, maybe a touch more than 1 cup is needed. Taste the liquid with an apple chunk and judge for yourself.