Christmas Baking,  Holiday Baking,  Recipes

Holiday Recipe – Cranberry Compote

Hello all,

The big day is drawing near and I am doing as much advanced preparation as possible.  My intent is to do a little bit each day, before Christmas so that on that day, I will have time to sit, relax and visit with family.

Here is my plan:

Yesterday – make Cranberry Compote.  Divide the recipe in half, deliver half to a friend and put the other half in the freezer.  Done!

Tomorrow – set the table and make my centrepiece.

Christmas Eve morning – roast and puree squash, make stuffing, make gravy base and put all in the refrigerator. Then all I have to do is warm them up and add the roast drippings to the gravy base.  I have a few apple pies in the freezer that I assembled but did not bake, back in October.  I’ll put one in the oven, and my mum will be bringing our Christmas pudding.

Christmas morning – prep the turkey for roasting, peel and prep potatoes, carrots and sprouts.  I want to say “easy peasy”, but you know Murphy’s law…something will go sideways I’m sure.

So, back to the Cranberry Compote.  This has been a staple of our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for at least 20 years.  I would love to give credit or acknowledge its origins, but I’m afraid I just don’t know.  The recipe was shared among a group of us at work and I have made my own small tweaks along the way.  So can you.

How to make cranberry compote:

Dissolve the sugar and salt in a cup of water in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat.

Once it begins to bubble and comes to a low or gentle boil, add in the cranberries, apple, orange, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Now here is where you can make it your own.  Prefer pears over apples?  That’s fine – swap them out.  Have a glut of clementines and no oranges?  Not a problem – use a couple of them in lieu.  You simply cannot go wrong.  The key is to try to keep the quantities or volumes the same.  This works out to approximately a cup and a half of each.  So, 1.5 cups of apples/pears and 1.5 cups of oranges.

In past years, I have also added in some dried peel, chopped pecans and a healthy splash of sherry, however since I am sharing this batch with a friend and I don’t know if she will have any folks at her table with nut allergies or an aversion to alcohol, I am opting to leave them out.

Once the mixture returns to a boil, reduce the temperature to low and cover. Let the compote simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Your kitchen will be smelling fantastic right about now.

The compote after 10 minutes…

…and after 20 minutes.

…and all done.

Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely.  It will continue to thicken a little as it cools.


Bye for now,


Cranberry Compote

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Christmas Baking, Holiday Baking, Recipes

Servings: Makes Approximately 3 Cups

Cranberry Compote


  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Package of Fresh Cranberries (340g/12oz)
  • 1 Medium to Large Orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 Medium to Large Apple, peeled and diced
  • OR
  • 1 Medium to Large Pear, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
  • Optional
  • 1/8 Cup Dried or Candied Peel
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Sherry


  1. In a large saucepan, dissolve 1 Cup of Sugar and 1 Tsp Salt in 1 Cup of Water over medium heat.
  2. Add the package of Cranberries, and all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Once the liquid in the pot begins to bubble and boil, turn the heat down to low and cover.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.


It will thicken further upon standing and cooling.

This compote freezes well.  Portion it out into freezer safe containers and simply pull it out as needed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.