Buy the best strong blue cheese you can to go with this gorgeous accompaniment.
I love the combination of salty, tangy blue cheese with sharp sweet apples and this is just the season for it. I make a fresh apple compote to serve with blue cheese for a superior finish to a Winter meal.
Apple compote couldn’t be easier to make. Here are two versions for you to try. Make sure you choose a variety of apples that won’t collapse into a mush during cooking, like Cox’s or Braeburn. Soft pieces of apple is what you are after.
In one version I cook the apples with membrillo. Membrillo is Spanish quince paste, that is now widely available outside of Spain. Membrillo has a mellow, fragrant sweetness that’s perfect with sharp cheese. Cooking it down with apples makes it amazing!
One of my favourite blue cheeses is Cabrales from Asturias in the north of Spain. It’s very strong and pungent. Picos blue and La Peral are similarly pungent northern stars of the Spanish cheeseboard. Try to track them down. A little goes a very long way. Otherwise any good, strong blue cheese will do.
The compotes will keep in a jar in the fridge for up to a week, so this is a great standby dessert for the festive season.
From José Pizarro’s Spanish Flavours: Stunning dishes inspired by the regional ingredients of Spain. Reproduced with the kind permission of Kyle Books. Photograph by the wonderful Emma Lee.
Version 1: Zesty Apple and Lemon Compote
Version 2: Apple and Membrillo Compote