Compote is a stewed fruit dessert that’s known for aiding in digestion, perfect for the generations of Jews who suffer from sensitive stomachs and holidays that feature many starchy dishes. “The compote that traditionally closes the seder meal,” jokes Michael Wex in Rhapsody in Schmaltz, is “a last ditch attempt to counter the binding effects of the matzoh [sic].” I loved compote as a kid because it reminded me of a sweeter version of applesauce.
Our Wintry Compote is more like the ones I ate as a kid. The variety of apple doesn’t really matter. Just note that sweeter apples will lead to sweeter compote. The dried apricots will brighten it all up.
Makes 3 to 4 cups compote
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound apples (about 3 medium), peeled, cored, and diced
- ½ cup quartered dried pitted prunes (about 4 ounces)
- ½ cup diced apricots (about 4 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, combine the honey and water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the apples, prunes, and apricots and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring regularly to break up the pieces of apple, until the apple pieces are completely softened and broken down, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, on its own or with cake and ice cream.
Excerpted from the book THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO by Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern. Copyright ©2016 by Gefilte Manifesto LLC. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lauren Volo.