Day: December 21, 2011

Cranberry Compote

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Here’s my third post from my “holiday menu“.  To be honest, I think “cranberry compote” is just a fancy term for a cranberry sauce.  But again, alliteration is always a nice thing!  In case you’re wondering, a compote is basically fruit stewed in some kind of syrup.  It can serve as a topping for ice cream or just served on its own.  I did use some of this to make a cheesecake for my Winter Feast.  Of course, that’s going to be the next post.  Exciting stuff!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 – 3 cinnamon sticks, depending on strength
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 4 c. cranberries, divided
  • 1/2 c. cognac

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar.  Bring to a gentle boil until the sugar has dissolved.  Reduce by about 1/4.

2.  Add the orange juice and cook for 1 minute.  Add the cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and 3 c. of the cranberries.  Bring to a boil.  Once you start to hear some of the cranberries pop, reduce the heat and allow to stew for about 10 – 15 minutes.

3.  After the mixture has thickened, add the remaining cranberries.  Once the cranberries have started to pop, reduce heat to low and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.

4.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cognac.  Let sit for about 30 minutes.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Notes — theoretically, this should last for at least a week, but it usually gets used up quickly in my house. . . you could try brown sugar which might be a nice change. . . I have seen some recipes that use maple syrup. . . another thing to try would be to add some ginger. . . I did make a double batch and just reused the whole spices.  It worked out fine.  You could cut down the amount of spices if it might be too much for you. . .   Adding cognac is optional, but I think it helps round everything out.  But of course, I don’t need an excuse to booze something up!