Cranberry Sauce is a very popular and traditional condiment for the holidays. I’m not a big fan of the canned jellied cranberry sauces that are mostly overprocessed sugar slabs. A few years ago, I came up with my own Cranberry Compote with Cinnamon and Calvados. This compote is a holiday staple in my house.
Cranberry red is one of my favorite colors. Like many women, I had my “colors done” in the 1980s. It was an image consultant’s way of showing clients how wearing certain colors brought out and enhanced their best features, and how wearing other colors did not. One of the colors that really brought out my features was cranberry red.
My cranberry compote is definitely cranberry red! One reason that I like it!
Start out with a bag of rinsed fresh cranberries.
Add some dried cranberries.
Since one of my favorite juices is a cranberry-apple juice, I like to add some Calvados (French apple brandy) to add some depth and a slight apple flavor.
Some sweet orange juice supplies the citrusy flavor without the rough sour qualities of the rind that appears in some cranberry orange compotes.
Use your favorite honey or agave syrup as a sweetener — whatever you prefer. You can use sugar yet I find that it doesn’t always dissolve completely and can cause a sandy texture.
A cinnamon stick offers a holiday spice touch.
Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until the compote thickens.
Make this compote a day or two early so the cinnamon and Calvados flavor can intensify. Refrigerate for up to a week.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Cranberry Compote with Cinnamon and Calvados
3 cups (or 12 oz) fresh cranberries, rinsed
6 oz sweetened dried cranberries
1 c orange juice
1 c water
1 stick cinnamon
2 T Calvados or apple brandy
1 c honey
Sugar or agave syrup to taste, if needed
1. Combine all ingredients into an anodized or non-metal saucepan, and stir until blended.
2. Simmer over low heat until mixture thickens and the alcohol from the Calvados or apple brandy has evaporated, 45 – 60 minutes. (Whole cranberries may pop during cooking, so you may want to cover the pan with a lid, or you can crush the cranberries slightly with a potato masher before cooking.)
3. Remove pan from heat and let cool.
4. Place in a non-metal container and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving. You may want to add additional honey or agave syrup depending on your sweetness/tartness preference.
Makes about 1.5 cups of compote. Serve either warm, chilled, or at room temperature with turkey, ham, or chicken as a condiment.
Variations: Can substitute apple juice for the Calvados or apple brandy. Can substitute Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur for the apple Calvados if you prefer the traditional cranberry-orange flavors.
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