Yeah, you know…in the bottom of the produce drawer, in the fridge, or in the bottom of the fruit bowl…those apples…the ones that are getting a little long in the tooth?
I hate it when my plans have gone awry, and things get over ripe, too brown, a little bruised…not used…
So I have a great solution that is healthy too. I bake a fruit compote. It’s like a fruit crisp, but no sugary-floury crust – just fruit that benefits from roasting, as most things do.
Take all your old apples, pears, and/or peaches and chop them up into chunks (or any berries past their prime). Add a handful of brown or white sugar, or agave syrup. Toss with the juice of a lemon and add the lemon zest from the peel. (These amounts are for 6-8 apples). I keep frozen cranberries on hand and often add them (1/2 cup or so) to the mix for some zing and colour. Sometimes I’ll make it spicier with cinnamon or I’ll add vanilla. I vary the flavorings.
And bake. At 350 degrees, for an hour or so, in a casserole or a deep baking dish, until nice and soft and tender, and fragrant, stirring occasionally. I’ll often cover it for half the time; more so if there’s not a lot of juice, or less if there’s lots of liquid bubbling away. Keep it going until deeply coloured, and starting to caramelize.
Put this on top of ice-cream, or yogurt, or a dab on top of cream cheese on crackers. It’s an intensely flavored addition to many dishes, and you’ve dodged throwing anything away.,,,
And the kitchen. Smells. Great.