RECIPE: Cranberry Compote with Riesling, Pears and Apple


Instead of using figs or berries, I decided to make a cranberries and pears compote to go with the duck confit (see recipe) and make it more “Christmas” like. I was searching and found this Williams Sonoma recipe; I’ve added my personal touches – one Granny Smith apple to the recipe, used agave syrup instead of brown sugar, and omitted star anise (original calls for 2 pods).  This compote will work nicely with traditional roast turkey.

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups)

2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 Anjou pears (peeled, cored and diced), 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled, cored and diced), 1 pound cranberries (fresh or defrosted frozen), 2 cups Riesling, 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup (**original recipe uses brown sugar) plus more to taste, pinch of cayenne pepper, 4 thin strips of lemon peel, 1 cinnamon stick and 4 cloves (tied in cheesecloth to make spice packet)


In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.

– Add the pears and apple to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

– Add the cranberries, wine, the agave syrup, cayenne, lemon peel and spice packet and bring to a simmer.

– Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the compote has thickened and the cranberries have begun to burst, 15 to 20 minutes.

– Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the spice packet.

– Taste the compote and add more syrup to sweeten if desired.

– Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.  Can be made ahead of time.

Note: I’ve chosen a nice German Riesling for the recipe.  Remember to pick something which is not expensive but drinkable!

I prefer to cook the cranberries longer to achieve a different texture.


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