This apple compote recipe is a versatile fruit topping bursting with caramelized apples and spice. It’s a delicious addition to all of your favorite fall recipes!
Why you’ll love it: Apple compote is so easy to make and your kitchen will smell incredible! This recipe comes together in minutes on the stovetop.
How long it takes: 20 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large skillet, stove
Servings: makes 3 cups
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Easy Apple Compote
- 3 Why You’ll Love This Apple Compote Recipe
- 4 Are Applesauce and Apple Compote the Same?
- 5 Ingredients You’ll Need
- 6 How To Make Apple Compote
- 7 Tips for Success
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Make This Apple Compote Recipe Your Own
- 10 Ways to Use Apple Compote
- 11 Make-Ahead Tip
- 12 How to Store and Reheat
- 13 More Easy Apple Recipes
- 14 Get the Recipe: Easy Apple Compote
Easy Apple Compote
Living in Michigan, we don’t have to travel far to find apple orchards. So, with apple season in full swing, I’m bringing you this delicious apple compote recipe! Crisp red apples are delicious when they’re cooked, especially with a generous amount of cinnamon and butter. Of all the easy apple recipes to make this fall, this homemade apple compote is a must-try. Apples and cinnamon are a match made in heaven, don’t you think? This compote is fall in a frying pan!
Why You’ll Love This Apple Compote Recipe
- Quick and easy. Have this spiced apple compote ready to serve in 20 minutes or less, without breaking a sweat.
- One pan. There’s no fancy equipment needed, here. While the photos show a cast iron skillet, any type of skillet is fine as long as it’s large enough to hold all of your apples! Even a saucepan will work.
- Versatile. This cinnamon apple compote is the ultimate fall topping. You’ll find so many ways to use it! It’s the perfect finishing touch for pancakes and oatmeal, to savory meat dishes and sandwiches, and so much more.
Are Applesauce and Apple Compote the Same?
Apple compote is made with apple chunks (either peeled or unpeeled) that have been simmered until tender but still with discernible pieces of apple.
Applesauce is consists of apples that have been cooked until they are very soft. Sometimes the sauce is pressed through a food mill or puréed; sometimes it’s left in a more chunky form. Try my crockpot applesauce or Instant Pot applesauce.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You can make this perfect apple compote with only 4 ingredients, detailed below. Don’t forget to scroll down to the printable recipe card near the end of the post. It has complete instructions with measurements and nutrition information.
- Apples – I use a combination of Honeycrisp and Gala apples but any flavorful, firm apple will work. Other varieties that stay a bit firm when cooked are Jonathan, Granny Smith, or Cortland. Use your favorite variety. If you prefer a compote that is more like applesauce, use a softer apple variety.
- Butter – Choose unsalted if you have it but salted is okay, too. Stay away from margarine or butter spreads.
- Brown Sugar – Either dark or light brown sugar is fine. Even white sugar is okay but brown sugar gives the apples more of a caramel flavor.
- Cinnamon – The perfect spice to go along with buttery sautéed apples!
How To Make Apple Compote
Making your own apple compote is easy as can be. All it takes is a few minutes to simmer the ingredients in a skillet, and your house will smell amazing.
- Combine. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add chopped apples (peeled or unpeeled, your preference), brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Cook. Saute the apples, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender, about 15 minutes or so. Keep the apples warm until you’re ready to use them. Keep scrolling for tasty serving suggestions and ways to use your apple compote!
Tips for Success
The following are some quick tips to keep in mind when making apple compote from scratch:
- Chop the apples into even-sized pieces. This way the apples cook evenly. You can adapt the size of your apple chunks to your preference.
- If you’d prefer a natural sweetener, substitute the sugar in this recipe with honey or maple syrup instead.
- Adjust the thickness. The melted butter and sugar need time to thicken into a sweet syrup. If your apple compote seems a little too juicy, continue cooking it for a few more minutes to allow more of the juices to evaporate.
Compotes are made from fresh fruit that’s sweetened with sugar and cooked on the stove until syrupy and tender.
Compotes are usually chunkier, and they’re made without pectin, a common ingredient in jams. Many compote recipes also include ingredients like cinnamon or other spices.
Make This Apple Compote Recipe Your Own
There are plenty of ways to adapt this simple and delicious apple compote recipe. Try these ideas:
- Add different spices. Cinnamon is a must but you could also add nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, or allspice. If you have apple pie spice mix, that’s perfect! Try freshly grated ginger or even a splash of lemon juice.
- Make it more “saucy.” If you prefer a compote that is more like applesauce, use a softer apple variety, like McIntosh, or continue to cook until the apples are softer.
- Peel the apples. If you’re not a fan of apple peels, feel free to remove them. I like the color, texture, and nutrition they add but this compote is delicious with or without them.
- Add other fruits. I love blueberries cooked into this compote! Cherries, chopped pears, or raisins are so delicious, too.
Ways to Use Apple Compote
This apple compote is one of our favorite toppings for pancakes, and it’s a great way to elevate a bowl of Instant Pot steel cut oats or yogurt with granola. Just swirl it on top and enjoy the extra flavor it brings.
Don’t stop at breakfast, though. Apple compote pairs well with the rich flavors of pork roast or pork chops. For an easy lunch, spread a little apple compote on a turkey sandwich or dollop it on top of butternut squash soup. Compote also makes a great addition to a holiday charcuterie board.
For dessert, serve it over cinnamon ice cream with a sprinkling of crunchy oat topping (yum! just like apple crisp!). Or, top a slice of apple spice cake with apple compote, whipped cream, and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
Get a head start on your compote by chopping up the apples up to one day ahead. Store them airtight in the refrigerator. Don’t worry if they turn a bit brown. Once they are cooked, the brown color will disappear. The next day, cook the compote; it will be ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Keep reading for more details on storing and freezing your cooked apple compote.
How to Store and Reheat
- Fridge. This apple compote will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. Store any leftovers in a covered container. To reheat, gently warm the compote on the stove or in the microwave. It’s delicious at room temperature, too.
- Freezer. Making and freezing apple compote is a great way to preserve apples to use later in the year! Cook a big batch of compote, cool it, and put it into small freezer containers to keep frozen for up to 3 to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge for best results.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups diced apples (roughly ½ inch), unpeeled (or peeled, if you prefer)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Melt butter In large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add apples and brown sugar. Continue to cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes, or until apples are softened, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cinnamon.
- Serve over pancakes, cooked oatmeal, vanilla ice cream, or pudding. Makes 3 cups.
- This apple cinnamon compote can be made ahead and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat gently until warm, if desired.
- To freeze, put in freezer containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight for best results.
- I used a combination of Honeycrisp and Gala. Other varieties that work well are Jonagold, Jonathan, Braeburn, Granny Smith, or Cortland.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.