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Got Some Leftover Apples?

Posted by Didi Gorman on

Got some leftover apples?

You know, those old, wrinkled, bruised, half-used, forlorn apples sitting in a basket on your kitchen counter or in some forgotten corner of your fridge?

How about we give them new life?

They may have lost their youthful charm, but that doesn’t mean they’re of no use anymore.

Any guesses what they did with such apples in old Europe?

They cooked them! Turned them into a lovely apple compote, which is exactly what we’re going to do today. A perfect solution for imperfect fruit! I love it when nothing goes to waste.

Go get those desolate apples and we’ll divide them into two groups:
Those in a reasonable state will go into our compote. Lucky them.
But the rotting, moldy, and completely bad ones will have to go to the compost

Noticed the words compote and compost are remarkably similar? That’s because both come from the same ancient French word for mixture: ‘composte’.

apple-peach compote

You’ll notice there’s no sugar or any other sweetener in this recipe. The reduced fruit is wonderfully sweet as is (and fragrant and exquisite!)

I have kept the following recipe super simple by using apples only, but many other leftover fruits can go into our compote. Think bananas, pears, plantains, and peaches. Raisins are a delicious addition too.

Here we go:


  • Making: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 2-3

You will need:

3-4 apples, cored and thickly diced
2 ½ heaping tbsp. butter
A sprinkle ground cinnamon
A small squeeze of fresh lemon
Optional for serving: whipped cream / plain yogurt / plain kefir

How to make it:

1. In a frying pan place apples and butter.
2. Sprinkle cinnamon and squeeze a few drops of lemon on top of your apples. Mix with a spoon. Cover.
3. Sauté, covered, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender.
4. Serve hot or cold, with whipped cream, yogurt or kefir.

See that velvety paste at the bottom of your pan? That’s a lick-worthy apple butter!

This post is part of a project about responsible and mindful eating. Today we’ve touched on the hot issue of food waste, which has been estimated at a whopping forty percent in recent years 3. Forty percent!

By turning old fruits into a lovely dessert, we’re taking a small step -one compote at a time- to reduce food waste in our kitchens. It’s the same principle as adding old veggies to soups and stews, as has been done for centuries by countless generations.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come on this topic in the coming weeks.

Have a wonderful weekend and go enjoy your compote!

Wise Choice Market

You like fruit compote? Click here for a homemade drinkable compote.

I have written over 30 easy fruit recipes to make from scratch at home!
All the recipes are in my book Fresh Fruit Anyone? Easy Homemade Fruit Treats from Scratch, where you will find fruit-based snacks and desserts, mango porcupines, unique lemonades and smoothies, berry slushies, banana ice creams, orange-strawberry popsicles, peach jelloes, apple compotes, pear and berry jams, awesome no-bowl fruit salads, and much more!
I invite you to explore, enjoy, dig in, and be inspired by this fruitilicious feast!

References and inspirations for this post:
1. EE 101: Teaching Slow Food Values in a Fast Food World - Alice Waters and Craig McNamara (YouTube)
2. Alice Waters - Edible Education: Teaching the Art of Simple Food; Family Action Network (YouTube)
3. Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, with Chef Anthony Bourdain (YouTube)
4. Cooked, by Michael Pollan
5. Traditionally Fermented Foods, by Shannon Stonger.
6. A Life Unburdened, by Richard Morris

This article represents its author’s opinion, and is not a medical, nutritional, or professional advice.