"Reclaiming Homemade in a Small Space"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Can the Cranberry Can! Fresh Cranberry Compote

One of my jobs as a teenager every Thanksgiving and Christmas was to open the cranberry sauce, whack the opposite side of the can with an ice pick, slide out the contents into a pretty crystal dish and slice it (trying to cut so you couldn't see the rings).  The best thing about the cranberry sauce was how pretty it looked in the crystal dish....and maybe getting to use the ice pick like a weapon!  I ate the sauce because it was tradition, it certainly wasn't my favorite.  It sat at the side of the plate and I ate it by itself.  After all, it just seemed like a really fancy jello.

I don't know how I came across Emeril's recipe for Fresh Cranberry Compote but I am SO GLAD I did.  It beats the canned stuff hands down.  It is also EASY to make.  If you had the canned stuff at Thanksgiving, don't worry, you have another chance to make this at Christmas.  It looks so festive in a clear bowl on the table AND it is delicious!  This compote goes wonderfully on turkey, pork or chicken.

Fresh Cranberry Compote:
6 oz. fresh cranberries:  washed, rinsed and picked over
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water
zest of one orange
1/4 t. cinnamon
pinch salt
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

In a non reactive, non-stick saucepan, over medium, combine the cranberries, zest, 1/2 cup sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon.

I like to zest the orange right over the pan that way the essential oils (flavor!) get in the pan.
Bring the cranberries to a boil over medium-high heat.  They will burst as they cook and make a little "pop" sound when they do.  Cook for 10 min.

 While they cook, in a small bowl, combine the fresh squeezed orange juice with the cornstarch.

After the cranberries have cooked for 10 minutes, stir the cornstarch and orange juice (this is called a slurry) to the cranberries.
The compote will thicken quickly.  Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 min.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  Refrigerate until chilled.  (I prefer to eat mine warm...but to each their own.)  :)


  1. As Emeril would say, you could put this on a bumper and it would taste good!

  2. Yum! And I just bought a bag of fresh cranberries...

  3. AND the fresh cranberries are really good for you too! I love it when nutritious and delicious end up in the same dish!

  4. It's the best. I'll make this through out the year as long as I can find fresh cranberries. Thanks for the recipe.