March 1st is National Fruit Compote Day.
Compote, French for “mixture”, has been around since the 17th-century. Created in France, this simple dessert is whole or chopped pieces of fruit cooked in a sugar syrup. The syrup is often flavored with vanilla, citrus peel, or spices. Candied fruit and raisins might also be added. Compote may be served warm or cold.
The French invented compote believing it would balance the effects of humidity on the body. It not very humid in most parts of the US in March, but warm apple compote is a wonderful winter treat.
Use green apples or any tart apple. A mix of apples is best.
2 cups water
1/3 cup pack brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
8 large apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and rum extract. Let cool. It will thicken more as it cools.
Serve on breakfast biscuits, toast, pancakes or stuffed in a crepe or as a topping on pound cake or ice creams.