3 pounds apples
2 quarts water
1 medium lemon
¼ pound prunes, or more for taste
½ cup sugar or to taste
Rinse and core apples, slice them into wedges, with peel. Put the apples and water in the pot and set over medium high heat. Peel the lemon-zest only-and add to the compote; squeeze in the juice of the lemon, too. Drop in the prunes and stir in the sugar. Bring the compote to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle bubbling simmer. Cook slowly until compote is reduced somewhat in volume by half an hour or more. Strain through a colander or large sieve and either reserve the cooked fruit to eat or press the pulp gently to release the juices. Taste and sweeten with sugar if you like. Enjoy the beverage warm or hot as tea on cold days or chilled in warmer days.