Japan Eats

Recipe: Apple compote with red wine and vanilla ice cream

How bout them apples?

Most people are familiar with the  pear compote. A simple dish consisting of pears slow cooked in sugar, water, wine and spices, it’s a dessert which never goes out of date.

What people may not know, however, is that apples work just as well as pears. Here, we’ll be preparing a version which makes use of Japanese apples.

These come in many varieties: Fuji, Kogyoku, Tsugaru and Jona gold. For the purposes of this dish, use a Fuji apple. Its sour flavor will better compliment the sweetness of the syrup and whatever creamy goodness you serve alongside it.

Apple compote with red wine and vanilla ice cream

Apple compote with red wine and vanilla ice cream

Ingredients (serves two people)

  • 1 apple (400g)
  • 100g sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 liter water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ice cream/yogurt/marscapone


Peel the apple and then slice it into 4 – 6 wedges, disposing of the core. Add the teaspoon of salt to the half-liter of water, then place the apple pieces into the liquid.

Pour the sugar into a pan together with 250 ml of water. Place the pan on a low heat so that the sugar dissolves. Next, put the apples into the pan, and gently cook for 15 – 20 minutes.

Add the clove, the cinnamon and the red wine and stir. Cook the mixture for a further 3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. After 12 to 24 hours, the apples should have absorbed the red wine and changed color. When you’re satisfied the apples are ready, take them out of the pan and slice them again (optional).

Place the an back onto a low heat and warm it slowly. Once it has thickened, it can be used as a sauce.

Plate the apples and serve with a dollop of ice cream, yogurt or marscapone. Pour a tablespoon of the sauce over the apples.