Preservation Society

DSC_0254The Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail Preservation Society recommends

Apple Compote

It’s perfect for this time of the year!

Apple Compote is very quick and easy to make, delicious to eat fresh and perfect to keep some of those delicious apples throughout the winter before they wilt away on the shelf.

Apple compote lasts for months, well into the next apple growing season, when preserved in sterilized jars. More easily and befitting modern man, it freezes well. Ideal for freezing (and thawing) just as much as you need. Keen friends of apple compote will argue that it doesn’t need preserving at all, as it is best eaten right away and keeps a few days in the fridge.

What’s not to like?

We use a blend of different apple varieties. Some say we just use whichever apples are beginning to wilt and need dealing with before spoiling, others argue that the blend of varieties ensures that the resulting compote becomes more than the sum of its parts. I say both are right.

Peel and core a few apples, cut them into pieces. Eighths will be fine. For every 4 or 5 apples add a tablespoon of sugar (to draw out those juices) and one star anise. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minute, stirring occasionally, then let stand and cool down for an hour. Try it and add more sugar or a splash of lime juice to adjust the flavour. Remove the star anise and lightly mash up the remaining pieces. Some like it chunkier, some like it smooth. Make it just as you like it!

Let it cool down completely. Deep freeze portions (use a vacuum sealing machine if you can, as this prevents frost bite), or preserve in sterilized preserving jars. To sterilize the jars, wash carefully, then put the jars (lids removed) into the oven at 140 C (280 F) for 20 minutes, then preserve according to the type of preserving jar you are using. Fill with compote but keep a fingers’s width of air. Loosely closed the lid and put into the oven at 80 C (175 F) for 40 minutes, then let cool down without touching the lid at all (to allow the vacuum to develop and seal the jar), and finish the seal. Some jars have screw-on lid rings, for example, which want to be tightened now.