Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spiced Cranberry and Cherry Compote

I intended to post several of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes all month long, but life got in the way,  and as you can see, it never happened.  I'm somewhat disappointed in myself, but I will chalk it up to a learning experience.  Next year, I will get an earlier start.  After all, this is my first year of blogging and I'm just getting the kinks out.

So not to be totally disappointed, I'd like to share a quick post with you, spiced cranberry and cherry compote.   I just whipped up a batch for Thursday's feast.  If you haven't decided on your cranberry sauce yet, you might give this one a try.  It has a fresh taste, a bit tart, with a nice zip of spice.  It's also great on a turkey sandwich and goes nicely with a holiday ham. 
Spiced Cranberry and Cherry Compote

2 12 ounce bags of fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
zest of 1 orange

A microplane works well to grate both the orange zest and the ginger.
Be sure not to grate the white pith of the orange.  It's too bitter.

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Be sure the pot is at least twice has high as the ingredients are deep.  You do not want this to boil over; it makes a sticky mess!
Bring to a boil over medium heat.  When mixture starts to boil, cranberries will begin to pop.  Continue to boil gently for 10 minutes stirring pot occasionally to avoid sticking.  If compote gets too lively, (spattering and foaming) turn heat down and continue to stir.  
After 10 minutes, compote should have a jewel toned look of jam.  The cranberries should have all burst.  
If they have not, continue to boil for another minute or so.

Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.  Allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for several hours.  This can be made a day or two in advance.  The flavors meld nicely and taste better if refrigerated at least 24 hours.  Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
This makes about a quart of compote, enough for a Thanksgiving feast!  (And a turkey sandwich for a midnight snack.)

I have to get it in gear and do a little more prep for Turkey Day.  I doubt that I will have time for another post before Thursday.  I will be spending the day with friends and family, although it saddens me that all of our family could not be here in New York to celebrate and give thanks...... 
May your Thanksgiving be filled with good food and blessings.

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