Up until a few years ago, I really did not like cranberries. I’ve never been a big cranberry juice fan and I can honestly say that I never put cranberry sauce on my Thanksgiving plate until I started making this cranberry compote a few years ago (canned cranberry? Ugh, I can’t even.). After my tastebuds had awakened to the tempting tartness of the berries, I started to branch out a bit and try them more. Now I can say, without a doubt, that dried cranberries are my absolute favorite dried fruit and I look forward to the fall for not just a Thanksgiving meal, but for using my cranberry compote on just about anything I can imagine. It has been known to top my oatmeal, toast, and even pork after Thanksgiving ends and I can buy fresh bags of cranberries for only $1. The week after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stock up on bags of the red berries and freeze for future use.
This recipe is so versatile and I hesitated on actually naming it something other than “Cranberry Compote With Just About Anything Your Heart Desires.” Truly, there could be thousands of variations and every batch I create ends up being slightly different. With that–and my general food philosophy of “a little of this, a little of that” in mind–take this recipe and create your own awesome cranberry compote from what you have in your fridge and/or your garden. I’d love to hear what you create in the comments!
Cranberry, Bourbon & Thyme Compote
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fruit juice (orange is great, I used papaya)
- 2 oz bourbon whiskey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch fresh thyme (or other herb)
WHAT YOU’LL DO
- Add all ingredients to medium saucepan, making sure cinnamon stick and herb are covered by liquid
- Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until cranberries burst. Do not cook on too high of heat or juice and alcohol will not reduce, and compote will burn.
- Remove cinnamon stick and herb, allow to cool, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Use chilled or heat slowly in small saucepan.