Squash and Apple Compote

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    2 cups

Appears in

I love standing over the stove, cooking fruits and vegetables over high heat, listening to the hiss as they hit the pan, and watching their edges color. This is a slower process than you might think, as the ingredients need to sear and caramelize at just the right pace. It requires patience and practice to get it right. When finished, this compote is sweet and tender, brightened with a splash of apple cider vinegar. It’s fantastic spooned over Quinoa Porridge.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces butternut squash (about 2 cups), peeled and cut into ½- to ¾-inch pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound tart apples (about 2 large apples), peeled and cut into ½- to ¾-inch pieces
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan over a medium-high flame.
  2. Add the squash and salt to the pan and toss to coat with the butter. Listen for the sizzle—this is a clue that your flame is hot enough—and adjust the heat as necessary. Cook the squash for 3 minutes without stirring or moving the pan; if the butter is browning, turn down the heat slightly.
  3. Toss the squash and cook for 3 minutes more, again without stirring or moving the pan. The squash should be browning on the edges.
  4. Add the apples and the sugar to the pan and toss to coat them in butter. Let the pan sit for 1 minute. Turn your flame down to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes, until the apples and squash begin turning translucent and there is ample liquid in the pan. Increase the flame to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, tossing every 2 minutes, until the apples and squash are dark and caramelized and have absorbed all the syrup. If the pan becomes dry before the apples and squash are tender, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. This compote is best served hot from the pan.