Caramel Apple Compote with Dried Cherries + Pecans will fill your home with all the scents of autumn, then satisfy your tastebuds with warm spices, salty caramel sauce, and tart apples!
Caramel Apple Compote is Autumn in a Bowl
So, it’s not quite officially fall yet, but it is September and around these parts that also means the start of apple picking season!
Since apples are in abundance, it’s hard not to incorporate them into everything! Besides snacking on them, I love adding them to oatmeal and salads and grazing boards, and making apple pie and apple sauce and apple doughnuts…you get the idea.
I’ve got a few apple recipes coming to you this season starting with this Caramel Apple Compote! If you haven’t started burning those autumn scented candles yet, just hold off — make this instead! 😉
My kiddo came home from school while this was on the stove, stopped dead in his tracks, and inhaled deeply before a dramatic “It smells gooooood in here!”
Ingredients (and Substitutions) for Caramel Apple Compote
Here’s all you need to whip up this deliciousness:
- brown sugar (I used light because it was in my pantry, but dark is great, too and will give you a more intense caramel flavor)
- half-and-half (gives it just enough creaminess without ALL the calories of straight up cream, which you can totally use if you’re feeling it)
- kosher salt
- unsalted butter
- apples (I used honeycrisp; because this cooks on a lower heat you really don’t need to worry about your apples turning to mush, so use your favorite or whatever you happen to have in the fruit bowl)
- ground cinnamon
- dried cherries (golden raisins, dried cranberries or currants would be lovely, too)
- chopped pecans (obviously, leave this out if you have a nut allergy or just don’t like nuts)
- spiced rum (optional, but highly recommended)
Ready to Serve in 20 Minutes
It takes just a few minutes to peel + chop the apples (heck, you don’t even have to peel them if you don’t want to) and gather your other ingredients.
You’ll combine the brown sugar, half-and-half and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait for it to come to a low bubble, then stir for about one minute until the sugar has dissolved.
Next, you’ll add the butter and stir constantly until it’s melted. If you’re using the spiced rum, toss that in now.
Immediately follow that with the apples, cinnamon and dried cherries. Stir it all up then let it cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cherries will rehydrate and plump up a bit.
Keep an eye (and ear) on the level of simmer. Lower the heat under the pot to maintain a nice low and slow bubble.
Quick Tip: I like the apples to still have a little tooth to them. I test for doneness by spearing a piece of apple with a pairing knife. If it takes a moment to fall off the knife, or I have to nudge it off, it cooks a bit longer. When it holds the end of the knife for half a second before falling off, then it’s done! If you like your apples to be on the softer side, continue cooking until the apple won’t even hold the tip of the knife.
How to Use Caramel Apple Compote
This makes a yummy addition to all kinds of things…
- Use it on pancakes, french toast + waffles
- Put a big spoonful on some ice cream! (*moan* it would be ah-mazing on this Cinnamon Ice Cream from A Homebody’s Adventures)
- Mix it into oatmeal or yogurt
- Put it on toast…OH, or a croissant!
- Serve it all on it’s own as a simple dessert
If You Like Autumn Recipes, You Might Also Like…
- Spiced Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls
- Pumpkin + Maple Semifreddo
- Curried Butternut Squash + Granny Smith Soup
- Chorizo + Black Bean Chili
- Spiced Honey + Wine Poached Pear Pie
- Chai Spice Baked Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze
Caramel Apple Compote with Dried Cherries + Pecans
- ¾ cup brown sugar lightly packed
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter cubed
- 1 tbsp spiced rum optional
- 3 cups apples (any variety) peeled + chopped into bite size chunks
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 5 tbsp chopped pecans
- Combine brown sugar, half-and-half and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a bubble, then stir for 1 minute as the sugar dissolves.
- Add the butter and continue stirring until melted. Add the spiced rum, if using.
- Add the apples, cinnamon and dried cherries. Stir to combine everything. Let it cook slowly, at an easy simmer, for about 12 minutes. If necessary, lower the heat to maintain a low and slow bubble. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in the chopped pecans right at the end and transfer to a jar or bowl for serving.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.