We re all apple lovers, aren’t we? I haven’t met anybody yet, who didn’t. The apple is the symbol of sin, so that will explain our behavior when the apple harvesting season is going on. We in Goa, get our apples either from Kashmir (North India) or from China all around the year, but I have to confess that I don’t buy them too often except now, when they taste better then usually. The reason for that is the huge quality difference. I grew up with Apple trees in our gardens in Europe and we had a couple of different types. Don’t ask me what they are called, because I just know the German names of 2 or 3 apple types, for the rest I would have to ask my dad. He is the Apple specialist whose taking care of the apple trees by pruning the trees etc. I had posted some pictures here of our trees, you can even take a look at the apples when they barely even look like apples. Anyway, I have tasted the sweetest, mealiest, most sour and hardest green, yellow and red Apples. You name it, we got them all, so I know what an apple is suppose to taste like!
Over the years I have just been watching the quality sinking awfully low. Those perfectly looking apples in the shops (Europe, Asia or wherever else) are the worst ever! They might have no blemish and they might be fully red without any insects inside, but I can tell you they are the most boring apples in this world. That’s a huge set back for somebody who is used to the juiciest and most complex of flavors in an apple. My grandmother would call those shop apples, “krafi!”, translated meaning “crap!”. ^.^
Well she was right, but as a kid I was more inspired by those bright red apples lying in those shop shelves and I was super lazy when it was about cleaning the apples from insects. Obviously I had to learn it the hard way, once I was in India, it was kind of impossible to get home grown apples. Apple trees don’t grow in Goa, so we are depending very much on the Kashmir and Chinese Apples from the North.
The difference between store bought apples and home grown apples is pretty much visible to anybody, even a blind person will feel the difference! Home grown, untreated apples are asymmetric, inhabit insects at times, are smaller in size, taste nicer or have more intense flavors and they don’t have a coat of pesticide or wax on the outer skin. While some of the store bought non organic apples don’t even have seeds, look perfect and bright from the outside and don’t even smell like apples at times!
Nowadays they apparently even sell organic apples in the stores. I am saying apparently, because there is no proof where and how they were grown! I am suspicious as long as they didn’t grow on my tree and in my garden except if I buy an apple from the farmers market in my village in Austria. Here I will know where things came from. For example an apple from the farmers market will be a proper organic apple, because I know the farmer and I know his trees. I guess you get my point here!
Anyway, let’s get back to the topic! I was fully inspired to share my apple compote with you. I had no choice but had to use the store bought apples. They are a bit plain, that is why I added some spices such as cinnamon and allspice to the recipe (and because the flavor combination is absolutely mesmerizing!). You can use the apple compote however you like. I prefer to add mine to yogurt with some muesli but you can eat it plain as a dessert or for breakfast as well! Either cooled or still warm, that’s up to your taste preferences. If you are not a raisin lover or if you don’t like alcohol, then simply keep those ingredients out of the recipe. However, the recipe as I have posted it, is perfect and nothing should be changed, in my opinion. If you can’t get a allspice leave, use 2-3 seeds instead, those should be easier available in some parts of the world.
- Couple of Raisins - roughly chopped
- 3 Tbs Schnaps ( I used Plum but you can use Apple or Pear as well)
- 2 Apples (~200 g)
- 50 g Brown Sugar
- 300 ml Apple Juice
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 fresh Allspice leave - optional
- Handful Muesli mix
- 500 ml plain unsweetened creamy yogurt
- The previous day keep the roughly chopped Raisins to soak with the schnaps of your choice (see in the Ingredients list for recommendation). The longer you keep them soaked the more taste they will have!
- Peal, quarter and discard the core of the apples. Cut very small as shown.
- In a pan add all the brown sugar and keep it on slow heat to caramelize. It will start to melt, so keep on stirring. Now, slowly pour in the apple juice. The sugar will get hard because of the juice, but that's ok in that moment. Just keep it on slow heat and stir. It will all incorporate in time.
- Once you got that browned juice, add in the apple pieces, stir for a minute and continue adding in the raisins with the alcohol. Stir well! Throw in the cinnamon stick and the allspice leave and stir. Keep it to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the apples are soft and cooked and barely any liquid is left.
- Cool the compote.
- To garnish, grab a Whiskey style glass, or any other glass of your choice, and fill it approximately half with the fresh yogurt. Add a layer of the Apple compote on top, then another thin layer of yogurt and at the end a layer of muesli.
- Best served cooled!
Have you experienced in your locality a difference in the quality of apples over the years?
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