Apple compote with saffron and rose bud infusion

Autumn is the best time of year to make apple compotes. I feel very fortunate to be able to eat old, traditional varieties of apples that grow completely on their own, without any kind of chemicals. Some years our apple crops are abundant and other years scarce. The skin of these apples is maybe not too pretty to look at and more often than not one will find out that the apple contains a certain uninvited guest – but all this is of little importance to me. I prefer to eat these apples, as they are, even if I need to peel them sometimes and cut out some parts of the fruit… than to eat those shiny, huge and impeccable apples that look like fake fruit. Nope, thanks.

Apple compotes, right! I enjoy mine with a loooot of cinnamon because I’m crazy about cinnamon. I like to pair cinnamon with cloves and green cardamom, too. The other day I even added star anise to the spice mix and the aroma was awesome. And because I like to experiment, I said to myself “why not!” and cooked a batch of apples in rose bud infusion. If you ever tried to make infusion or “tea” with lovely rose buds, you know what to expect. They make such a soothing drink, hot or cold, and it can be drunk any time of the day (p.s. it makes a particularly great infusion for good night). Its taste is mildly sweet and delicate and I had a hunch it would enhance the aroma of my apples.

So, I used those 7 apples you see on the photo, and I cooked them in a 1/2l rose bud infusion (1 heaped tablespoon of rose buds). I like to cook my compote on a low heat to preserve as many vitamins as possible. Once the liquid starts simmering, I turn off the heat because the apples I use don’t need much cooking either. Ow, and by the way: I suggest using sweet or semi-tart variety of apple for this particular compote. Please, no granny smiths.

For an extra color kick, I added a few strands of high-quality Spanish saffron to the compote and because I wanted to get the best of the flavor, I ate it without any added sugar. And the taste?

Wow. It almost left me speachless. Rose buds and saffron – the loveliest couple. Costly (I know!) but so worth it. This is not your everyday compote… more like a special treat. Hey, you deserve it, too! What would life be without some little treats here and there, right? ;)

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