Quince and Apple compote

December 22, 2009  •  Category:


Beirut is   an extremely social city; at holiday time, the family gets flooded with confections and pastries. Every day a new package lands at the door of my parents’ home in Beirut. So  anticipating eating these goodies throughout the day and night, I decided to make a simple, pared down dessert for Christmas dinner.

We have been getting a lot of apples from our orchard in the Shouf and quince are in season. I decided to make a quince and apple compote served with a tiny bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pistachios. That’s it!

Got the idea for combining apples and quince from Claudia Roden’s book of Middle Eastern Food.


For the quince compote:

  • 2 large quinces (about 1 kilo)
  • 1 cup of sugar (250 g)
  • 1 1/2 cup of water (1/2 litre)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

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  1. Place the lemon juice, sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Peel and core the quince and place the peels and seeds and whatever bits you collect in the sugar mixture.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and slightly thickened. The kitchen will be heady with the perfume of quince. Strain the syrup.
  4. Cut the quince in dice or slices and place in the syrup, back on a medium to slow heat, for about 20 minutes or until the fruit slices are well cooked and tender. Turn the heat off and cool. The syrup will have taken on an orange-pink hue.

For the apple compote:


  • 3 or 4  green  apples, small to medium in size
  • 1 cup of sugar (250 g)
  • 2 cups of water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water, 1 tablespoon rose water (or 1/2 stick vanilla)



  1. Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan (separate from the quince pan)
  2. Bring the syrup to a slow simmer; peel the apples, cut in half and core. Place in the syrup.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes until the apples are tender. Add the flavoring at the end of cooking, if using the water and at the beginning if using the vanilla stick.



Place an apple half with a bit of syrup in a small serving bowl; place a few pieces of jellied quince on top. Squirt a bit of whipped cream and drop a tablespoon of chopped pistachios.


9 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Big Boys Oven says:

    the final of the dessert looked so delicious awesome!

  2. Azita says:

    So simple yet so delicious!
    I’d love to visit Beirut someday! I’ve heard so much about it.

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipe says:

    Simple, and yummy! Excellent pictures.
    Merry X’mas!

  4. Kitchen Butterfly says:

    Love this compote…I haven’t ever cooked with quince…

  5. spice says:

    love this compote…quite simple too

  6. Peter says:

    Quince are so under-rated and under-used in western kitchens, pity. I love them is both savory and sweet dishes. This is a light and delicious dessert.

  7. Lisa says:

    I was looking for your gingerbread house and was disappointed I didn’t see one..however, this dessert looks amazing and so elegant! Love quince, so I’d love to try this! Very well done! Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year, and thanks for the sweet comment on my blog 🙂

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