Compote: should you cook the apple with or without water?

Preparing applesauce can quickly discourage us. After all, why take the time to peel, cut, cook and then puree our apples when you can find them ready-made in supermarkets? However, on the shelves, many applesauces contain up to 20% added sugar. Even if you choose 100% pure fruit applesauce, you will notice that ascorbic acid is often added to the 99.9% applesauce (indicated on the label). The interest for manufacturers in using it? Preserve the apple from browning and restore its loss of vitamin C, caused during cooking. Even if it is harmless to health and in minimal quantities, ascorbic acid remains chemical. Once placed in pots, the prices of these preparations reach up to €3 for a large pot, or even €4 for four individual portions. In the face of inflation, let’s save money and indulge in some homemade applesauce.

Which apple for my compote?

Not all apple varieties are equal. And yes, each apple has its own recipe! If we favor Pink Lady or Gala in a tasting as is, we will choose Golden for cooking. The soft and crunchy flesh of Golden apples cooks more quickly than others and above all, it retains its hold!

Cooking apples: with or without water?

In truth, whether you cook the apple in water or not is up to you to choose according to your preferences. We’ll explain it to you.

Cook the apple in water

When the apple is cooked in water brought to a boil, the flesh of the fruit, already composed of 84% water, soaks it up. The apple therefore becomes softer and loses slightly in taste. An advantage if you want to integrate the compote into a soy or cow’s yogurt. For good reason, an apple softened in taste allows you to play on flavors: to attenuate the very sweet notes of a yogurt for example, or to prevent the taste of the apple from taking over a lemon zest and a little cinnamon that would have been used to garnish the compote. Also, thanks to the presence of water in the pan, the apple does not stick or burn at the bottom. However, the vitamin C contained in apples (2.13 mg per 100 g of fruit*) is sensitive to water and heat. During cooking, up to 50% of the vitamins escape from the apple, up to 60% depending on the cooking time (note that the apple is said to be “cooked” when a knife blade enters and comes out without difficulty of the flesh of the fruit). Where does this vitamin C go? Quite simply in the water, in which it infuses naturally! Little tip to increase the vitamin C intake in our applesauce: add citrus zest.

Cook the apple without water

Unlike cooking in water, cooking apples in the pan “disgorges” them. Thus, you release the water contained in the fruit, giving way to crunchy flesh and rich in taste (until then inhibited by water). As part of an applesauce to be enjoyed as is, you will not need to add sugar, ideal! Be careful, however, since cooking in the pan requires precautions: over medium heat so as not to lose too many vitamins, stir the fruit constantly so that it does not burn or stick to the bottom!


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