The Best Types Of Apples To Use For Compote

Every season yields its bounty of produce, and finding creative ways to use up all that garden or farm-fresh goodness can be challenging. Home for the Harvest points out that apple season runs from late August through November, depending on the variety of apple, which means there are months of perfectly ripe apples for the picking and (the) cooking.

Finding recipes that feature apples isn't hard. The crisp, juicy fruit can deck you out from starter to dessert with this apple harvest saladseared pork chops with parsnips and apple recipe, and classic apple strudel. It can even fill your glass! Apple cider delights kids of all ages, and apple cider cocktails let you strain the fall fruit into a nightcap. 

If you want the apple to be the focal point of your dish, it's hard to go wrong with apple compote, one of the easiest and best ways to serve the fruit. A compote is just fresh or frozen fruit simmered with sugar and spices until it is transformed into a warm, syrupy consistency — perfect for eating on its own or featured in a dessert like our luscious almond yogurt parfait with cinnamon-apple compote. Because a compote is so simple, choosing the right apple makes all the difference. So which varieties of apples work best in compote, you ask?

Look for firm apple varieties with lively flavor

The best kinds of apples for compote are also some of the varieties we love to eat straight off the tree. MasterClass recommends varieties like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Macintosh, and Pink Lady, as they have the ideal crisp texture that won't soften too much when you cook them. Apple varieties that tend to disintegrate when simmered include the Golden Delicious and the Red Delicious, which Eat This, Not That considers the absolute worst apple for cooking. One of the virtues of apple compote is that you can adjust the sweetness to your liking, adding a bit more sugar if the variety of apples you're using is a bit too tart. 

If you can resist eating all your fresh apple compote straight from the saucepan, it will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator, according to True North Kitchen, though you're likely to find so many uses for it that it vanishes well before then. Try your fresh apple compote with buttery croissants, on top of oatmeal, or even spread on a peanut butter sandwich.