Apple, Ginger & Cardamom Compote

We are back in our kitchen. Trying new recipes. Thinking back on six unbelievable months. While it is snowing outside. Snowing. In April. That is weird even for Sweden.

As you can imagine we are boosted with Asian inspiration. We have for example got a major crush on lemongrass, look out for it in our future recipes. But for a while now we have decided to take a short break from everything Asian. You know when you have been out traveling, and all you can think about on the plane home is a peanut butter & jam sandwich in the morning? That was us a couple of days ago. Except from that the sandwich in our case was rye bread. And instead of peanut butter & jam we dreamed of this super delicious Apple, Ginger & Cardamom Compote. Apart from being perfect on a piece of rye bread, it can also be used in a tart, or enjoyed as a fresh dessert together with some yogurt. It is sweet, but not sweetened. How sweet is that!?

Apple, Ginger & Cardamom Compote
Makes 2 jars
This compote is completely without sugar and preservatives, therefore it needs to be in the fridge in a closed glass jar. As long as you don’t open it, it will stay fresh for weeks (maybe even months), but after it is opened you probably want to finish it within a week.

2,2 lb (1 kg) apples
1 1/2 cups (4 dl) water
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp cardamom seeds
2 tsp cinnamon grounded
2 cinnamon sticks
30 leaves of lemon balm, chopped
1/2 lemon, juice & zest

Chop the apples (with peel). Place apples, water and the rest of the ingredients in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. The compote is done when the water is gone and the apples are tender. Clean the jars in boiling water. Pour the compote in the jars while it is still warm and seal the jars right away.

Photo by: Johanna Frenkel


  • Catarina
    Hi GKS family! Thank you so much for your recipes and inspiration. One question: have you ever tried using this compote or just apple puree as a substitution for mashed banana? I really really diskike banana... Thank you and keep up the good work.
  • Daniella
    What could you replace lemon balm with? tak tak!
  • Nancy
    The recipe sounds great! Since there is no sugar added can I still can the compote? If not, can I add some apple juice to be able to can it? Thanks. P.S. Great pictures!
  • What can we use if we don't have lemon balm?? Thanks!
  • Jo
    I just made thus and it's amaaaaazing!! Love it!! Do I put the jar with hot compote in the fridge straight away or do I let it cool off first? Thanks!!
  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. kudos
  • This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I've shared your website in my social networks!
  • Anna
    good point... if you use cardamom seeds, do they disolve, or will you bite on them after? must be harder to take out after cooking than cardamom pods
  • we have so much enjoyed reading your travel posts. Coming back home after such an awesome experience is never easy, good luck with future plans and thank you for this yummy recipe that we are going to try this week!
  • Sasha Rose
    This was delicious. I made it last night. But I used cardamom pods and not just the seeds - do you "shell" the pods? And I found that it was much lumpier than the pictures you have - do you blend it or mash it at all? Thanks for the inspiration. We love your stuff!!
  • I absolutely love this recipe.. especially because it has no added sugar :) I must admit, your recipes inspire me all the time.. I made the other day your "healthier carrot cake", here you can see the result..we really enjoyed the cake, thank you :o)
  • Welcome home! I love this recipe. I much prefer to make refrigerator preserves and such because you can really keep the sugar content down. I grow lemon balm but we're still in the throes of cool weather so it will be a while before I can enjoy it.
  • KristenP
    This looks awesome. I am also interested in a substitute for lemon balm, as I've never seen it in the herb sections of any the stores I shop. Any suggestions?
    • Hi Sarah & KristenP, The easiest substitution for lemon balm would be to use lemon zest from one medium size lemon. It has got the same mild lemon flavor as the herb. If you want to add some real herbs in it, you can also throw in a couple of mint leaves. /Luise
  • Your photos are so beautiful I could just scream! Wowzers! I have have a loaf of homemade sour dough rye that I made this weekend which would be perfect with this. I have everything but the lemon balm leaves.. and I'm not even sure where I'd get any. Suggestions for substitutions? I'd love to make this :)
  • How completely delicious. Your blog is so inspiring - the photos are always so stunning. And this sounds like a compote right up my street.
  • Welcome Home Sweet Home! There's no place like home is there? And yum, you've made my mouth water with this recipe. I have a monster crop of lemon balm that will be sprouting anytime now. Thanks for the yummy inspiration!
  • Looks SO delicious! "An Apple (ginger & cardamom) Compote" a day keeps the doctor away"! (Do you have that expression in Sweden too?) Will be hard not to eat it all during its voyage from pot to fridge :) Do you think this would be good with pears as well? Welcome back!!
    • Hi Rebecca, This recipe work great with pears. It would probably turn out a little sweeter than with apples. You can really vary the taste of the compote depending on which apple (or pear) sort you use. /David
  • catarina
    the ingredients are in the pot... :) can´t wait to try it... thanks**
  • This looks fantastic! I can always use a new compote recipe. I wonder if this could be made and then stored in a plain tupperware container. If not, I'll have to buy some glass jars.
    • Hi Morgan, we have never tried using Tupperware containers ourselves, so I'm not sure if they will work as good as glass jars. They will certainly work, if you plan to eat it within a week. /David
  • Mmmm, I may have to make that with pears this weekend! And snow? Really, do you know what I'd give for that right now? I'm in Central Florida, where I'm grateful that it's a "breezier" 79 degrees today. Savor the snow for me.
  • Aude
    Welcome home! I cannot say how pleasurable it's been to read about your travels and experiences over the past six months. I have been looking forward to every single blog entry, checking back a few times a week. This compote looks absolutely delicious. I make a similar one adding a sliced vanilla pod. I just bought 60 of them on a trip to Mauritius. I find that English Cox apples work really well in the recipe but am intrigued by your idea to use ginger and cardamom and will try that next.
  • I'm sure it's nice to be home! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures.
  • beautiful as always :) glad you guys made it home safe and cant wait to see your cooking again.
  • Welcome home! Beautiful flavours you've got going on here :)
  • so gorgeous! such a unique combination of flavors– i've never tried lemon balm.
  • With these bright flavors, it's a great way to ease out of winter and move into the warmer months. Beautiful post, as usual!
  • Jennifer L.
    Welcome home! Hooray for a recipe that uses lemon balm. I have tons of it growing in my garden and always wonder what to do with it. I can't believe you're dealing with snow in April. Here in Santa Cruz, it's oddly like summer; except last week we had flooding rains. Short of that, it's sunny and lovely. We'll send sunny, warm thoughts your way :-). Thanks for the recipe. I am eager to try it.
    • Hi Jennifer! Walking around in snow sure makes us wish we were back in Santa Cruz. How fun that you have tons of lemon balm growing in your garden. Maybe you could start selling some of it, since it seems like a lot of people are having a hard time finding it in stores ;) /David
  • I can't believe it's still snowing there, but welcome back to your own kitchen! One question regarding the recipe -- what do you suggest for a substitute for lemon balm as I haven't seen that anywhere here! Mint and lemon zest, perhaps? This will be a great one to make this weekend! Thanks guys -Grace
    • Hi Grace, thanks for your comment. Mint leaves and lemon zest sounds like a great substitution for lemon balm. Good luck with the compote. /Luise
  • It must feel really good to be home. This looks great to put on rye bread, like you said, or eat with yoghurt at breakfast time.

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