Saturday, November 9, 2013
FFwD: Compôte de Pommes two ways - the old-fashioned way
Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is "Compôte de Pommes two ways" also called apple compote. This classic accompaniment to roast pork, is also a good way of preserving a glut of apples in the freezer. Use some slightly sweetened apple sauce for delicious flaky apple turnovers, or on the base of a French tart, or together with wonderful "Rösti", our favorite way to enjoy an autumnal apple compôte.
Dorie´s recipe calls for two different ways to prepare your apple compôte. One involves the cooking of the apples on the stove top – the other way requires baking the apple compôte in the oven. I chose the stove-top method as this is the way I always prepare my apple compôte. Not much needed except for some wonderfully fragrant autumn apples, water (I always use unrefined apple cider for this), a bit of brown sugar (omitted that), some vanilla extract (used a vanilla bean instead, always do), and as a thickener some salted butter.
Not only did I take the old-fashioned route and prepared my apple compôte on the stove-top and chose a wonderful heritage apple for making it but I also got to use my lovely vintage “Flotte Lotte" (foodmill) again. Overall, I took my inspiration from an apple fair at a wonderful outdoor museum where we once again marveled at many heritage apples and at many wonderful old-fashioned ways of cooking and preparing apples.
Some of my favorite apple varieties have such wonderful names as “Roter September” (red September), “Kaiser Wilhelm” (Emperor Wilhelm), or “Roter Augustiner” (red August apple)….
…or “Signe Tillish” (a yellow redish autumn apple - first discovered 1866 in Jutland) and “Charlamowski” (first discovered in Russia in 1770).
For this recipe I used a heritage variety called „Goldparmäne“, also called „Wintergoldparmäne“ in German, or „Reine des Reinettes“ (queen of the princesses) in French. The British gave this lovely apple the name “King of the Pippins” – but whichever name you give this apple, it is counted among one of the oldest varieties of apples – experts guess that is was discovered round about 1510 in Normandy. What other apple would one choose for apple compôte…truth is, I tasted it in Northern Germany before and fell in love, first with the taste and then with the name “Goldparmäne”. I had been looking for it ever since. It is rarely cultivated anymore and to my great delight, I found a few bags at a farmers´store the other day – brought my treasure home and waited for the perfect recipe to use them in – Dorie´s apple compôte, of course.
Sadely, no more of these wonderful heritage "Golparmäne apples" left (these are in fact the apples in the bowl in the pictures) but lots of wonderful tasting apple compôte! It needed next to no sugar after it was cooked according to the recipe – the apples have a delicious natural sweetness. But I am also left with a good feeling of having used a somewhat forgotten variety of apples that we really enjoy eating and that has such a lovely and well-sounding name. And I do know where to get some more next year (already reserved part of the harvest).
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed today´s recipe, please click here.
If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s book “Around my French Table”, you will find the recipe for the “Compôte de pommes two ways” on page 392.