If you’re looking for just the perfect, healthy, light fruit-forward dessert, try a warming fruit compote. Cooked fruit in a flavorful syrup is just so simple and wholesome, especially when it’s light in sugar, filled with spices, and packed with apples and quince, such as this Spiced Quince Apple Compote. This soothing compote has a touch of smoky whisky, maple syrup, spicy ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, sweet raisins, and crunchy walnuts. It’s delicious served in a pretty dessert cup, or as a topping for ice cream (plant-based, of course!). And if you don’t have quince, substitute with pears!
This recipe is a great way to showcase quince, which is a fruit in the botanical family Rosaceae, related to apples and pears. Historically it’s been called a “golden apple,” but the quince is a lesser-known fruit, though a delicious one nonetheless! It appears throughout history in Greek poetry, the Roman cookbook Apicius, and in a painting by Vincent van Gogh. In the Balkans, quince trees are planted after a birth as a symbol of fertility, love, and life. The tree is native to Western Asia, but can be grown in a variety of climates. However, in order to produce fruit, sunlight is needed, and in cooler climates, the fruit may not ripen fully. Quince resembles a pear in appearance, with a lovely yellow-green color and rounded, lumpy shape. However, unlike pears, quince is often too sour and hard to eat when raw. Once cooked, as in this recipe, the quince becomes soft and sweet, with a beautiful fragrance.
Turn to quince and apples to create a simple, comforting spicy fruit compote (vegan and gluten-free), which is light in added sugars, and rich in sweet spices and flavor.
- 1 ½ teaspoons dairy-free, soft margarine
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- ½ cup apple juice, unfiltered, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons whisky (optional)
- 2 large quince (8 ounces each), cored, peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 large apples (8 ounce each), cored, peeled, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Place margarine, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, maple syrup (optional), apple juice, and whisky (optional) in a medium pot. Heat over medium until bubbly.
- Add sliced quince, apple, and raisins, stir well and cover pot. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender yet firm.
- Add walnuts and serve warm.
- Makes 6 servings (about 2/3 cup each).
Recipe is adapted from The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 123
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 1 g
Keywords: quince apple compote, healthy vegan dessert, apple vegan dessert