This recipe is slightly sweet, but not cloying, due to the ability of the fennel to draw out the sweetness of both the Granny Smith apples and the onions. Be careful not to substitute other apple varieties because the sweetness of the recipe may change. However, you can substitute pears for some or all of the apples.
This recipe comes from Julie Sahni’s book, Savoring Spices and Herbs, page 221.
1½ Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fennel seeds
4 large (2¼ to 2½ lb.) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 large (½ lb.) onion, peeled, halves, and cut into ⅛-inch slices
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the fennel seeds and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are cooked but not soft and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the onion, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook for 6 minutes more, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Turn off the heat.
2. Coarsely puree the apple mixture in a food processor or a food mill. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This compote can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Makes 2½ cups.