A hearty topping for ham, roast pork, roast poultry, smoked meats, tucked into a sandwich of cold sliced meats, or with a baked sweet or white potato. The flavor just gets better with age, but if you cannot resist, serve right away. If you have leftovers, the compote keeps well for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
1/4 cup raisins
1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup apple cider
2 tart, firm apples, quartered, peeled, and cored
Pinch of sugar
Slash or two of apple cider vinegar
Chopped fresh parsley
Put the raisins in a small bowl and ad enouth warm water to cover them. Set them aside to soak and plump.
Bring a pot of water a boil and add the garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes and drain.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet and add the onions and garlic. Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper and toss together. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they are nicely browned and tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat if they brown too fast. Raise the heat to high, add 1/2 cup of cider, and reduce to coat the vegetables. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. You will be adding the cooked apples later so use a medium-size bowl.
Thinly slice apple quarters crosswise. In the same skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the apples and a pinch of sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the apples to brown, but not until they are falling apart. Drain the raisins and add to the apples along with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Reduce the cider to coat the apples. Add to the onions and garlic and mix well. Taste and season the compote with sea salt and pepper, if needed, and a splash on vinegar if you'd like to sharpen the flavor. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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