Cranberry Compote

“What is the one side dish that you always see at the holiday table, but you never see it get consumed? Always being pushed from one end of the table to the other, but never a spoonful taken out of the congealed mass. Looking exactly like the can it came out of, ridges and all.

Cranberry sauce has gotten a real bad rap around the holidays just because family members take it out of the can and do not do a thing to make it look more appetizing. We are hoping that this week we can change some opinions on that little berry. Our Cranberry and Orange Compote is a beautiful combination of tart, sweet, and savory all in one dish. Orange and cranberries pair beautifully and our addition of whole star anis (editor’s note: star anis is a spice) and cinnamon adds a dimension that most other warm winter spices (nutmeg, clove, allspice) lack when added.

A fair warning: since the cranberries have a high level of natural sugar and sugar is added, once the compote reaches consistency, it has a high chance to burn to the bottom of the pan. Low heat is your best friend for this recipe.” – Joe


  • 1 twelve ounce bag whole cranberries
  • 1.5 cups simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated to dissolve the sugar)
  • 1 orange – juiced and zested
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 whole star anis


  1. Place all ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until the majority of the berries burst.
  3. Once the berries have started to burst, turn the heat down to medium low and continue to simmer.
  4. Stir the compote for another three-to-four minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to sit and cool in the pot.
  6. Once the compote has cooled, remove the cinnamon stick and whole star anis, and serve.

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