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This Fresh Cranberry Compote Recipe is ready in just 10 minutes and requires only 4 ingredients! It’s like a simplified version of traditional cranberry sauce that’s sweet, tart, and scented with fresh orange. Serve it on buttermilk pancakes, waffles, or cast iron cornbread.
My obsession with compotes continues! It’s hard to pick a favorite when we’ve got rhubarb compote, mulberry compote, and pear compote to choose from. And now cranberry compote, too! I’ll never tire of these simple fruit sauces.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Fresh Cranberries – You can also use frozen cranberries if you’ve got them.
- Orange – The zest and juice of one large orange compliments the tart cranberries perfectly.
- Sugar – A necessary ingredient in any compote recipe.
- Water – More on why we’re adding water to this fruit sauce in the section below.
Water in Fruit Sauce?
Traditional French compote is made by cooking whole pieces of fruit in simple syrup. Homemade simple syrup is comprised of a 1:1 ratio of sugar dissolved into water.
While my other compote recipes don’t incorporate water, it was necessary to add it to this one because fresh cranberries have a very low moisture content. Rhubarb and mulberries and pears release a lot of their natural juices (aka water) when they cook down, cranberries do not because they don’t have much to release!
Adding a bit of water to the sauce helps to keep it a lovely, smooth consistency. You’re welcome to add more or less than the recipe calls for, depending on your preference.
Making Fresh Cranberry Compote
- Add everything to the pan. And set over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Cook until cranberries burst. They break down so quickly!
- Enjoy! Serve any which way you’d like.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
The compote can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Alternatively, it can be frozen. Here’s how:
- Fill a quart-sized, freeze-safe plastic bag with cranberry compote.
- Squeeze out any excess air.
- Properly label and date the bag with the contents.
- Lay flat in the freezer until solid (you can then store the bag upright, if desired).
Compote can be frozen for up to six months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
10 Minute Fresh Cranberry Compote Recipe
- Rubber Spatula
- Storage Jar with Lid
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- In a sauce pot combine 12 ounces fresh cranberries, ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup water, and the juice and zest of 1 orange.
- Set pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and broken down to create a sauce. This will take about 6 - 8 minutes. Sauce is ready when it easily drips off a spoon.
- Frozen, whole cranberries can also be used straight from the freezer in place of the fresh.
- ⅓ cup bottle orange juice can be substituted for the fresh orange, if desired.
- If you walk away from the sauce and come back to a consistency that’s too thick, stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Refer to post for freezing instructions.
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