Apple Cake with a Surprise! Tasty!
Green Chilé Apple Compote Recipe
The Umami of Green Chilés
There is great joy in learning to cook in a new cuisine.In New Mexico this includes working with green chilés among other basic foods. There are many great tastes and enhancements created with the famous New Mexico Hatch Chilé.
The combination of sweet apple dessert and green chilés was first shared with me some five years ago.The apple pie had green chilés in it and it was wonderful.The green chilés did not present themselves as the obvious provider of the piquant flavor.Instead the green chilés counter-balanced the sweetness of the pie.This was a pie made in the old style, that is to say also including lard in the crust.To eat this pie was to know there was something different without being able to ‘put your finger’ on exactly what was different.It was flaky, sweet but not too sweet, melted in your mouth, and made you think of ‘Mom’s Homemade Pies.’If this was gonna kill you, well you were gonna die happy.
Yes, yes, lard, real sugar, and such will all do you in eventually. So, don’t eat too much of it. Enjoy what you do eat though!
The New Mexican colloquial use of green chiles in apple pie reminds me of the colloquial use of ‘a warm slab of cheddar cheese’ on your apple pie in the Midwest USA.Both seem unlikely and both are addictive once you have tried them!
So, just why does green chilé work so well with sweet apple desserts?
This is a borrowed Japanese word that means savory.It is added to the four basic tastes which include sweet, sour, bitter and salty.Food pairings are celebrated in many cultures.
In China there are people who have the knack of selecting dishes that compliment and contrast each other with great success.The family style meals served in Chinese restaurants (in contrast with the one plate meal in many places) all revolve around the proper balance and selection of foods by a host with the knack of food/dish combining.This is NOT the same as a Chinese buffet where everything is thrown on a steam table for a grand slurp-n-lurp overeating experience.(Oh, did I over editorialize here?No.)
In most Western cultures we provide complimentary tastes and recipe combinations to make-up the one plate meal or multi course meal for each individual diner.Just watch Iron Chef to learn new parings of foods that are unique and uncommon at most tables.
So, the green chilé provides the Umami taste to this sweet dish.The green chilé should not take over the flavor of the apple compote. It should not be apparent that the green chile is even in the dish! If the green chiles are the predominate flavor you have over-used the green chile or you are from New Mexico and think EVERYTHING should have the green chile flavor!
This is great to take to a potluck or a friend’s home when you agreed to bring the dessert.
The first time you make this add just a half of teaspoon of the green chilé juice, taste, and work up from that point.
Green Chilé Apple Compote Recipe Ingredients
2-3 T. butter (or heart healthy substitute)
½ C. sugar
1 T. vanilla
½ t. cinnamon (use REAL cinnamon)
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. cloves
1 t. green chilé juice to 1 T. finely chopped green chilés (to taste!)
Green Chilé Apple Compote Recipe Preparations
Core and slice apples to same size slices
Melt butter in skillet
Add apples and sugar
Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes or until they caramelize
Add dash of salt
Add green chilés to taste.
The Green Chilé Apple Compote was served over apple coffee cake with dates and a bit of whipped topping.It would go fine anywhere you would use apple compote though!
Imagine of this on pancakes.That would be incredible, don’t you think?