Spruce up simple applesauce by adding some chewy dates. This apple date compote is a delicious variation of the traditional recipe, with naturally sweet Medjool dates, tart lemon zest, and a ton of earthy cinnamon.
I’ve come a long way for someone who never even gave dates a second look at the grocery store. Nowadays, I can’t imagine NOT having dates stocked in the pantry…they’ve become one of my favourite ingredients to use in the kitchen.
Dates are a healthy and naturally sweet ingredient that lend well to dessert recipes. They are packed with fiber, natural sugars, calcium, magnesium, and aid in the digestive process.
The combination of fiber-rich tart apples and sweet dates make this compote a deceptively delicious and healthy treat for the kids. The addition of fresh lemon zest balances out all the sweetness and adds an interesting depth of flavour and freshness.
Whenever I prepare this I usually triple (or even quadruple) the recipe. This compote lasts in the fridge for up to a week and freezes well.
(Yields about 3/4 cup)
1 lg. apple (any variety that is not too sweet-I used Fuji)
4 large Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup water
zest of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tbsp. Greek yogurt (optional for garnish)
Peel the apples, remove the seeds then chop into 2 inch pieces. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan, bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook on medium-low for about 12-15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the apples and dates are fork tender.
*Do not cook until all the water has evaporated as you will need the cooking liquid to add to the puree. The amount you add will depend on the desired consistency of the compote
*TIP: If you accidentally add too much cooking liquid you can always thicken the compote with ground flax or dry cereal, such as rice or oat.
Add the compote to a small food processor (or use an immersion blender) with some of the liquid and blend until you get the desired consistency. If you prefer a smoother consistency simply add more of the liquid.
*Be sure to check for unprocessed large pieces of dates before serving.
Garnish with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and serve warm or cold.
If desired, add a dollop of Greek yogurt.