5 Ingredients or Fewer

Apples in Cardamom-Lime Syrup

September 13, 2015
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 1 quart
Author Notes

Apple compote sounds like a bore, I know. But these are spectacular—much better than the sum of its parts. Serve this alone, or with a nut or coconut cookie, add a scoop of Greek yogurt or coconut ice cream. Leftover syrup makes a terrific cocktail (garnish with mint) or flavored soda.

From Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan 2012) —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 16 cardamom pods
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 9 or 10 limes)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (350 grams)
  • 3 medium-large flavorful apples (such as Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Pippins, Pink Lady, Sierra Beauty, or Braeburn), with skins left on, cut into 8 or 10 wedges)
  1. Gently smash the cardamom pods with a heavy object.
  2. Combine the cardamom pods, water, lime juice, and sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the apples to the simmering syrup and set a salad plate or saucer (slightly smaller than the diameter of the pan) on the apples to keep them submerged. Simmer very gently for 8 to 10 minutes, or until barely tender when pierced with a toothpick.
  4. Remove from the heat and let the apples cool without removing the saucer for about an hour, then chill them in the syrup. The apples keep in the refrigerator for at least a week. They get better with time. Serve chilled.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley
  • Oui, c'est bon
    Oui, c'est bon
  • TheKnittedFrau
  • Beth100
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

6 Reviews

Ashley October 7, 2019
I picked a bushel of apples, so I've been looking for apple recipes to can! The flavor on these is delicious, but I didn't love leaving the skins on. We ate them with vanilla ice cream, and the skin was tough and got in the way. Maybe it was the type of apples I used.
Beth100 September 18, 2015
Green or brown cardamom pods? Making this with Northern Spy apples as soon as they are ready to come off the tree.
carswell September 17, 2015
I absolutely love cardamom - I'm going to give this a try. I'm not so fond of the ubiquitous use of cinnamon in recipes like this.
Oui, C. September 17, 2015
You feel the same way about this recipe as I do on the Creamy Homemade Ricotta.
TheKnittedFrau September 17, 2015
Holy Hannah. I picked some especially tart wild apples on a hike the other day (I happen to live in the heart of NY apple country) and just made this last night with them... Mind. Blown. I just had the best breakfast of apple compote with cottage cheese and granola. The quart sized jar I filled last night won't last too long. These are AMAZING.
Katie September 15, 2015
I have ground cardamom. What would be the acceptable substitution? Thanks!