RECIPE: New England Compote (Gluten-Free)

Faced with a calendar packed with potluck Holiday parties, what’s a local foodie to do? Fortunately for us, this New England Compote, featuring pumpkins and apples, is both delicious and uses ingredients found locally even during the holiday season.

First, a little history: I created this dish with some friends a before finals last year. We were looking for a way to ensure a 3am, caffeine-fueled cram session by wasting all this pesky free time we had during the evening. Naturally, we decided having a cooking party would be the perfect solution!

Like myself, most of these friends were ardent foodies, so we were committed to creating something local. Due to my gluten-free diet, a traditional apple or pumpkin pie wasn’t going to fly. So, using pumpkins, apples, and cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, we rolled up our sleeves and created what I now affectionately refer to as a New England Compote (inspired by the lovely Susan Voisin at FatFreeVegan).

This dish is a new twist on the old classics of pumpkin pie and apple crisp, combing both flavors with a tangy splash of cranberry. It can be served right from the pan, but for a more upscale feel, scoop the compote into large Martini glasses. 


  • 4 cups pumpkin (about 2 medium sized pumpkins)
  • 3 large apples
  • 3/4 cup cranberries (or more, depending on how tangy you want it)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves (ground)
  • 1/8 tsp Allspice


Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9×5 pan.
Peel the pumpkin and slice it thinly into pieces about 1/2-inch thick pieces.
Cut the apples into slices a little thicker than the pumpkin.
Mix the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice into the butter.
Combine the pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and spiced butter in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into the greased 9×5 pan, cover the pan with tinfoil, and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove tinfoil, mix the dish, and then bake for about another 15 minutes.
Use a knife to make sure the pumpkin slices are soft; if not, return to the oven until pumpkin is tender.
Remove from the oven and let cool (the dish can be served warm or cold).

Sarah Swanke is General Research Intern at Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston College ’12 with a degree in Biology. During that time she took a semester to study Food and Social Movements at UVM School of Continuing Education, after which Sarah worked with the City of Winooski to launch a job training program designed to teach refugee students sustainable agriculture. To share her love of cooking, Sarah has often volunteered in creating meals at local soup kitchens.

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