This homemade, healthy cranberry-apple compote is sweetened with fruit and pure maple syrup. It’s tastier and healthier than cranberry sauce from the can and ready in under 30 minutes!
Growing up, cranberry sauce was one of those “must-haves” at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Unfortunately, it was the
yucky cranberry sauce out of the can. It was a red, jelly-like blob which kept the perfect outline of the can, ridges and all. It looked very unappealing to me as a child, so I rarely added it to my plate. I never even knew there was another way to eat it until someone brought a homemade jar of cranberry sauce to dinner one year. My life changed forever!
It was so delicious and made with fresh ingredients. I began making our cranberry sauce that way from then on. I tweaked my old recipe a little because it called for a ton of white sugar. I wanted to make a cranberry sauce sweetened naturally. It turned out so much better than my old cranberry sauce recipe too! All with healthier ingredients!
I used juicy apple chunks, freshly squeezed orange juice, and some pure maple syrup to add sweetness to the tart cranberries. The addition of lemon and cinnamon add more depth of flavor.
I reserve about 1/2 cup of the cranberries to add in towards the end of cooking so that there are bits of whole cranberries in the sauce. You may get a few bites of concentrated tartness from the whole cranberries, but I like tart. If you want uniform sweet/tart, add all the cranberries in at the beginning.
Put this homemade compote in little jars and give them away to family and friends. There are so many other uses for this compote than just once a year with Turkey. Plus, it’s too delicious to only eat at Thanksgiving! Here are some other ideas:
- Mix some into your bowl of oatmeal in the mornings.
- Use it to enhance the flavor of other meats, like chicken or pork.
- Add it to baked brie for a sweet contrast.
- Use it as a spread on toast or bread.
- Top your scoop of ice cream to make homemade sundaes.
- Would also be a great condiment on leftover turkey sandwiches.
How do you enjoy cranberry sauce after the holidays?
- 3 cups (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, rinsed*
- 1/2 gala apple, peeled and diced small (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or other sweetener of choice
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks, optional
- Add cleaned cranberries, diced apple, maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice & zest, and cinnamon sticks to a medium-large saucepan. I used gala, because it's a sweet apple, but any other sweet apple should do. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring often. When the cranberries begin to pop, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Yields about 3 cups.
- *I reserve 1/2 cup of the cranberries and add it in halfway through cooking so that there are whole cranberries in the sauce. This does add a few tart bites every so often, which I like, so do this only if you like the tart taste of cranberries!