11 Nov2008


It’s nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S., while Canada celebrated theirs a few weeks ago… Thanksgiving is a holiday we love in the MM household and while we may have skipped a few Thanksgiving dinners in recent years, we can and often do a huge turkey with lots of trimmings. This year, I was thrilled to see some fresh cranberries at S&R and bought a bag to make some pre-thanksgiving relish to be enjoyed with some baked chicken. A pre-thanksgiving practice, as it were. So many folks automatically buy canned cranberry jelly and I suppose it’s easier to just open and serve, but if you have ever been curious about the original inspiration, you have to make a batch of cranberry compote from scratch. It is INCREDIBLY easy and the taste is far superior to anything you buy in a can!


Just purchase a small bag say 350 grams of fresh cranberries from your grocery. Wash the cranberries and pick out and obviously damaged or smushed ones and stick them in a small pot. Add about 1/2 cup water, the zest of one orange, the juice of one orange and roughly 1 to 1.5 cups of granulated white sugar. Turn the heat up to medium and wait until it boils and cranberries start to pop, lower heat if necessary and simmer for roughly 20-25 minutes until mostly softened. Leave in pot to cool and store in the fridge before serving if you want it cold. The pectin in the fruit naturally creates a jelly like substance.


This sweet and tart cranberry compote is superb with turkey or chicken. I also like it the day after the fowl meal with sliced turkey or chicken between thick slices of bread shmeared with cranberry compote… Yum!



  1. fried-neurons says:

    I am a “make from scratch, avoid cans” kind of guy about 99% of the time, but ONE thing where I totally prefer the canned kind over home-made is cranberry jelly. I will take the canned jelly any day of the week and twice on Sunday. :)

    Nov 11, 2008 | 7:10 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, you mean, like ketchup? :)

    Nov 11, 2008 | 7:29 am

  4. Maria Clara says:

    Apple and cranberry combination is matched made in heaven! If you add sliced apples in your compote, it will add another depth of flavor and yummy factor. Good in turkey and chicken sandwiches. Apple pie with cranberries is to die for in aged cheddar cheese pie dough!

    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:11 am

  5. betty q. says:

    Yum! is right, MM…day after comfort food: THANKSGIVING IN A BUN!!!!!…hot( turkey sandwiches) or cold…either way, that is what leftovers is all about!!!!

    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:12 am

  6. Maria Clara says:

    Apples have to be Granny Smith or McIntosh varieties – baking apples.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:16 am

  7. Quillene says:


    How long would these keep for if you make it from scratch?


    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:42 am

  8. fried-neurons says:

    Actually, I absolutely hate ketchup. :)

    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:50 am

  9. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, hahaha. I love ketchup. Go figure. :) Quillene, this should keep for a few days in the fridge, possibly up to a week. MC, hmmm, I have never tried this with some chopped apple in the mix…will try that next time.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 8:53 am

  10. betty q. says:

    Hey MM, any leftover apple-cranberry compote makes a nice filling for oatmeal squares…much like blueberry oatmeal bars…condensed milk with 1 eggyolk, lemon zest and juice and drizzle that over the compote and top with atreusel….OR this is the season for steamed puddings…apple-cranberry steamed pudding..much like plum puddings but not heavily laden with candied fruits!…taken with CHAI TEA>>>SARAP!!!

    Nov 11, 2008 | 10:04 am

  11. natie says:

    yes, the first time i cooked this, i was amazed at how easy it was! but there is, indeed, a certain something in that canned cranberry jelly. so, i get one can, and make a compote, too, for variety.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 10:13 am

  12. betty q. says:

    Just in case I don’t get the chance to visit your site in the next few days and yap, yap,yap with my buddies there in the US…..HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!!!!

    Nov 11, 2008 | 11:01 am

  13. MarketFan says:

    lechon for the ones who are in the magic 50 list in Cebu and a big roast turkey for betty q and others…HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! we still have a lot of things to be thankful for, di ba?

    Nov 11, 2008 | 12:43 pm

  14. mgr says:

    We have been doing this for years here in the US. We always serve 2 cranberry jellies..the recipe above and the plain canned smooth jelly. Some guests prefer one over the other, guess with what they grew up with. I’ll take both!

    Nov 11, 2008 | 1:34 pm

  15. millet says:

    this looks like it would be good to stuff homemade poptarts with.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 1:36 pm

  16. Mila says:

    I wasn’t much of a cranberry fan (even though the juice is healthy, and helps prevents uterine infections), but I like them in fruit breads and in a chutney like blend to accompany pork. A mild kind of spice, with an acid kick. I substituted the cranberries in a mango chutney recipe and it worked out quite well.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 3:20 pm

  17. Katrina says:

    I never could understand why Americans love that canned cranberry jelly. Maybe because I didn’t grow up with it, but I just found it boring. This fresh compote, however, I’m quite sure I’d enjoy.

    I have to say, as well, that I’d take chicken over turkey ANYTIME. I find turkey bland and dry. Sure, its size is impressive to look at, but taste-wise, chicken is just so much better.

    Nov 11, 2008 | 4:00 pm

  18. j. says:

    At home we make our own cranberry chutney, we use brown sugar (light) instead of white granulated, and add a dash of cinnamon…we brine the Turkey and cook the stuffing seperately (we stuff the cavity with aromatics!)…We do have some canned cranberry jelly lovers so we buy those as well…
    I love the day after Thanksgiving…Turkey,mayo, some cranberry jelly/chutney, lettuce, tomato and crisp bacon on a nice piece of bread… or a redux version of just turkey mayo and chutney on white bread…

    Nov 11, 2008 | 5:56 pm

  19. Good Life says:

    Turkey,cranberry relish and good bread. YUM!

    Nov 12, 2008 | 12:48 am

  20. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I’ve always loved cranberries…although it’s not popular here in the Phil. Healthy too. I always marvel how Thanksgiving is celebrated in the U.S.

    Nov 12, 2008 | 7:02 am

  21. NewYorker says:

    This really makes me look forward to Thanksgiving. I made the same type of cranberry compote a couple of years back, more out of curiosity than anything. I’d seen several versions of the compote made on a few Food Network Thanksgiving specials and I got curious and inspired, and wanted to see the cranberries popping and gelling for myself. The results were good, flavors bright, and nothing like the canned jelly.

    Thanksgiving sandwiches are the best! Turkey, cranberry relish, and a little stuffing/dressing on a really good bread – yummy!

    Nov 12, 2008 | 8:21 am

  22. Del says:

    Do you think it would make a big difference if I use frozen cranberries? My neighbor gave me 2 huge grocery bags full of cranberries from his garden a few months ago and it´s still sitting in my freezer.

    Nov 13, 2008 | 5:42 am

  23. joy says:

    hi MM, the cranberries remind me of bugnay fruits..
    if they were this shade of red, they would be sour bugnays at this stage..

    Nov 13, 2008 | 7:34 am

  24. Marketman says:

    Del, frozen works just as well, they just won’t seem as bright or fresh… but they should still be okay…

    Nov 13, 2008 | 10:11 am

  25. sister says:

    Maria Clara, Try finding Northern Spy Apples for your Thanksgiving pies- they absolutely are the best pie apple. Available in the East and Michigan as well from October through December. Bruises easily so is seldom shipped commercially- superior flavour, juicy, tart and sweet, distinct aroma and tender but keeps its shape. Very good eaten fresh as well.

    Nov 13, 2008 | 11:29 am

  26. EbbaMyra says:

    Try adding canned (or fresh) mandarin orange, and then topped it with roasted slivers of almond. My relatives came from Quezon and there we have the sour liputi (looks like duhat but rounder) and I missed this fruit so much. So I substitute cranberries, placed them in tupperware, put lots of rock salt, and then shake. We called them “kinulunggo”. Then eat them, and its good. Makes your mouth pucker. Says my hipag, di daw siya kumakain nito kasi it makes her looks ugly, eh bakit daw, so yun dapat kainin daw yung mapapa-ngiti ka, which makes one pretty. LOL.

    Nov 14, 2008 | 10:00 pm

  27. Eileen says:

    I love cranberry jelly/sauce paired with baked/roasted chicken! Thanks for this post! :)

    Nov 15, 2008 | 11:52 am

  28. alfred says:

    Good am guys!Saan po kaya ako makakabili ng fresh craneberry dito sa pilipinas?thanks po

    Jul 7, 2010 | 11:24 am

  29. Marketman says:

    alfred, fresh cranberries are sometimes sold at S&R Price Club, several locations in Metro-Manila, usually around October to December when they are in season in the U.S. Or you can buy frozen cranberries at Santis delicatessens once in a while.

    Jul 7, 2010 | 3:08 pm


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