Caramelized Cranberry and Apple Compote

Caramelized Cranberry and Apple Compote

Cranberries, apples, and orange zest combined with caramel make a festive holiday side dish, a perfect addition to your festive table.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 12 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    Evenly spread the fine sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the star anise, then lightly crush the cardamom pods on a cutting board, and add them as well. Drizzle in the water and light corn syrup. (The corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from forming into hard crystals.)​
  3. Step 3

    Turn the heat to medium-high, and quickly whisk the water and corn syrup into the sugar, as it begins to melt.  Swirl the pan to make sure the sugar dissolves evenly, but don't whisk or stir. As the sugar melts, and the liquid boils off, it will begin to turn a pale amber. Move the saucepan around so the sugar cooks evenly and doesn't burn.
  4. Step 4

    When the caramel is golden brown, add the cranberries, swirling them in the caramel. (The caramel is very hot, so be careful.)  When the cranberries begin to burst, add the apple, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  5. Step 5

    Take the saucepan off the heat, and pour the port around the sides of the pan to deglaze the caramelized bits stuck to the pan. Quickly swirl the compote with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula to incorporate.
  6. Step 6

    Add the orange zest and orange juice. Put the saucepan back on the stovetop, lower the heat, and simmer 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. The compote will thicken when cooled, so try not to overcook it.
  7. Step 7

    Transfer to a heat-resistant glass bowl and cool to room temperature, then cover and chill. The compote can be prepared two days ahead and will taste better as all the flavors meld. When ready to serve, remove the compote from the refrigerator 1 hour before. Serve with roast turkey, goose, or duck.