Photo credit: kthread on Flicker

Earlier this autumn, I visited the organic sustainable golden delicious apple orchard at my university alma mater with some friends. We went home with several pounds of golden beauties. Three large cloth shopping bags worth! As no one tends the trees, not even to trim them, many of the apples were already spotted, buggy or on the ground. We picked the best ones that we could find. I spent absolutely hours picking over and chopping the apples once I got them home.

Stir the spices into the apples.

Stir the spices into the apples.

I pretty much knew from the start how I wanted to prepare them, either in a pie or as spiced compote. Since my stomach is so fussy, I cannot eat raw apples anymore, only cooked ones. When the time came to cook the apples, I decided that I did not want to bother making a gluten-free pie crust, so I just made compote instead. I had so many apples that I had to dived them into four batches, altering the recipe as I went along. I have included my favorite version below.

After 4 hours on low heat, add in the vanilla extract.

After 4 hours on low heat, add in the vanilla extract.

Spiced Apple Compote
Adapted from Alyssa Brantley’s Crockpot Apple Pear Sauce.
This compote goes very well with hot cereal, in a pie or on top of ice cream, pancakes or waffles.

Yields 10 to 12 servings

4 – 6 lbs Apples, cored
1 tsp Citric Acid or Sour Salt
1 T Orange Juice
Filtered Water
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 T Blue Agave Nectar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

As you chop the apples to roughly bite size, put them into a non-reactive (glass or plastic) container filled about half way up with water and the citric acid. Make sure the apples are mostly submerged, occasionally mixing and pushing the apples down into the water. Add more water as necessary.

Place the apples, spices, agave, and 1 cup of the apple soaking liquid into a slow cooker. Cover and cook for four hours on low. When the apples are tender and reduced, turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla before serving. Serve hot or cold. Store in clean canning jars.

You can save the remaining apple infused water for making smoothies and other sweet recipes in place of filtered water.
In lieu of measuring all of the spices listed above, you can use an equivalent amount of apple or pumpkin pie spice mix, adjusting the flavor to your liking.