Homemade Cranberry Compote


Cranberry sauce 2021 (4)

When we were young, the only cranberry we knew was the sickly-sweet sticky jam that was available in the supermarkets at Christmas. I never liked it. As a kid, I always thought it was weird putting jam on your Christmas dinner!

Then along came Delia, the advent (pardon the pun) of fresh or frozen cranberries, and suddenly everything changed. My Cranberry Compote is only very distantly related to Delia’s, as I really like the tartness which contrasts with all the sweet stuff available at Christmas time.

It’s a really versatile little pot of glorious crimson goodness. If you prefer it a little sweeter, just add more sugar to this recipe.

Cranberry (2)


  • A large saucepan
  • A wooden spoon that you don’t mind staining red!
  • Some sterilised jam jars or pretty pots
  • A jam funnel, if you have one (I’m a messy cook, so I find it saves me a lot of tidying up – also, you’ll only need to buy one – it will last you a lifetime – a perfect stocking-filler!)


  • 2 bags of fresh Cranberries (my bags held 300g, so two of them)
  • The juice and zest of a large orange
  • 25mls Port
  • 50mls red wine
  • 50g soft brown sugar

Cranberry (3)


  • Wash and pick over the cranberries to remove any damaged ones
  • Put them into the saucepan on a medium heat
  • Add the sugar, orange zest and juice, wine and port.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, (I love listening to the berries popping gently!) then turn down immediately to a low heat, the let it bubble gently away until it becomes soft and sticky. This should take no more than 20-30 minutes.

cranberry confit 2

  • The more unripe berries will mostly hold their shape, while the others will break down. There should still be a little liquid left in the saucepan, don’t let it get too dry.
  • Taste it for sweetness (Careful now – it will be hot!) then stir in some more sugar to taste, if required.
  • Decant into your chosen (sterilised) containers.
  • Put the lids on immediately and allow to cool.
  • Then label and decorate if you’re giving some away as gifts.

cranberry confit


Cranberry (1)


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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