Rinse, peel, quarter and remove cores and seeds from apples. Cut apples into small pieces.
In a saucepan, combine apples with 50 ml (approximately 1/4 cup) water, the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cloves. Simmer until apples are soft and beginning to fall apart, about 10 minutes.
Serve hot or cold, to taste. If desired, pour hot compote into sterilized jars, seal tightly, and let cool.