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 contrasting 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- I use this on Christmas day, with the turkey dinner; as an accompaniment to a terrine http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/my-venison-terrine/, or pate http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/my-chicken-liver-pate/, and as an ingredient in my cheat’s Mince Pie roll-ups http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/cheats-mince-and-cranberry-rolls/.
- It keeps really well in a kitchen cupboard, as long as it hasn’t been opened; otherwise it will keep in the fridge.