Another recipe from seriouseats.com. You don’t have to cook the apples in apple cider, but it definitely bumps up the flavor of these apples. Use water if you prefer, or if you just don’t have apple cider available.
2 pounds assorted apples 2 cups apple cider 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 cinnamon sticks 1 whole nutmeg seed, cut in half with a chef's knife 1 (1-inch) strip fresh ginger 1 (1-inch) strip lemon peel Pinch of salt
For the Compote: Peel, quarter, and core apples, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces. With a vegetable peeler, trim away the sharp edges of the fruit, leaving each piece with smooth, rounded edges.
Combine apple slices, cider, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, lemon peel, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until apples are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. The exact timing can vary dramatically depending on the specifics of your stove, cooking vessel, and apple types, so pay more attention to the texture of the apples than to a specific timeline.
Transfer fruit to a serving dish, along with enough syrup to keep apple slices moist and well sauced. Return aromatics to remaining syrup. Enjoy compote warm or at room temperature.
For the Syrup: Return syrup to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Whatever you don’t need for the recipe, transfer with the spices to an airtight jar and refrigerate. Use syrup like simple syrup in your favorite cocktails and desserts.