Rosemary-Ginger Apple Compote

This apple compote is seasoned with rosemary, ginger, and cinnamon. It makes the most delicious accompaniment to Fall and Winter charcuterie boards and is so easy to make!

The key to making the best compote for charcuterie boards is to dice the apple into very small cubes. This makes the perfect texture for piling it onto crackers. Dicing the apples into very small cubes is the most time and effort-consuming part of this recipe. Otherwise, all the ingredients are just tossed into a sauce pan with a lid and left to simmer until the apples release their juices and the flavors meld. Then, the lid is removed and the ingredients are further simmered until the liquid reduces to a thick, sauce-like consistency.

While you can eat this compote right away, I think the flavors develop more as it cools. I like to make this compote at least a couple of hours ahead of serving time, storing it in the fridge until use. For cheese boards, I usually use it cold or at room temp. This compote can also be piled warm onto baked brie for a phenomenal app!

The combo of apple, rosemary, and ginger in this compote goes great with literally any cheese and meat combination. It is sweet but plenty tart, herby from the rosemary, and a bit spicy from the ginger. The ground cinnamon gives a lot of warm flavors and makes it feel so perfect for Fall and the increasingly cooler weather.

To me, building the perfect charcuterie board is a matter of mixing lots of different flavors. Then the number of combos are endless and unique! In the board pictured, in addition to the all-important compote, I included a mix of:

  • Prosciutto – a salty, neutral meat.
  • Dry-Cured Chorizo – a spicy meat packed with paprika and garlic.
  • Blue Cheese – gotta have that funky, strong flavored cheese.
  • Brie Cheese – a bit funk on the rind but the inside is utterly creamy and decadent; brie is a great soft cheese to include because it has a more neutral flavor than say goat cheese.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – a favorite pairing with apples, sharp cheddar is a must for cheese boards using this rosemary-ginger apple compote!
  • Green Olives – I like using Castelvetrano olives which have less sodium (there is already plenty in the cured meats and cheese) and have a fruitier flavor than your typical olive. They bring a nice brightness to the board.
  • Concord Grapes – despite the pits, concord grapes have the most intense grape-y flavor and a dark color perfect for colder months.
  • Allspice Candied Pecans – satisfy the need for sweetness as well as brining more warming Fall/Winter spices (click here for recipe).
  • Crackers – here I used neutral water crackers as well as whole grain fruit and nut crackers.

While this rosemary-ginger apple compote is so perfect for Fall and Winter charcuterie boards, it can be used in a number of other ways. Topping pancakes, waffles, and French toast with this compote is to die for. I also love using it in paninis – which is conveniently a great way to also use up any leftover meat and cheese. Likewise, I use this same basic recipe (usually with larger chunks of apple) with pork. With all the spices and some added sweetness, it really elevates a good pork chop. Last but not least, topping vanilla ice cream with this compote (warm if you know what is good for you) as well as some crushed up nuts or cookies is pretty much heaven on Earth. Basically, you cannot go wrong with this Fall and Winter staple any way you look at it!


Rosemary-Ginger Apple Compote

Servings: makes 2 cups

Time: 20 minutes to make, plus time to cool

Ingredients:

  • 2 large apples, diced into very small cubes (half a centimeter or less)
  • 1 tbsp. butter (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. coconut sugar (or brown sugar, or maple syrup)
  • 1 packed tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled then grated on a microplane
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp. water

How-to:

  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan with a lid. Turn heat to medium low, stir, and cover.
  2. Let cook for 5 minutes, stir, and let cook another five minutes covered.
  3. Remove lid, stir, and let simmer until liquid reduces into a thick sauce, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool – note that sauce will thicken further as compote cools.
  5. Allow to sit, refrigerated, for 2-3 hours to allow the flavors to fully meld and develop, then serve (see above for serving suggestions).

Notes:

  • I keep the skin on the apple but if the texture bothers you feel free to peel them.
  • Compote will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • The butter adds some richness and body but can be taken out to make this compote vegan.

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