This cranberry compote, with a splash of balsamic vinegar and dried figs in the mix, is a bit for more complex flavor-wise, than the usual cranberry sauce. But it’s just as easy to make as any other.
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The result is an autumn MVP condiment — delicious alongside your Thanksgiving turkey (or even any-night roast chicken or pork), on a cheese board or even as topping on yogurt or ice cream.
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I’ve got to admit, I was well into adulthood before I came to love cranberry sauce and appreciate its sweet-tart appeal in the context of a rich holiday meal. That’s probably because my mom always flung the canned stuff on the buffet as a colorful afterthought in the rush of getting everything else ready. But really any homemade cranberry sauce is dead easy to make and well worth the effort. You can make this one up to several weeks in advance and let it hang out in the fridge while its flavors marry and develop.
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Balsamic Cranberry-Fig Compote
1 cup water
1 orange, zested and juiced, divided
1 cup dried figs, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 (10- to 12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat, and stir in the juice and figs. Let stand 15 minutes.l
Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add sugar and cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil. Stir in the cranberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until the cranberries are starting to burst. Remove from heat. Stir in the vinegar, zest and salt. Cool completely. Transfer to a jar. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks.
Makes about 2 cups.