My Favorite Childhood Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Compote. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Cranberry Compote

All Photos: Wendy Goodfriend

Even though I grew up in the 70s, and the can-shaped cranberry “sauce” (gel) graced our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember, there was always at least one or two other cranberry options up for grabs. This is the version that fell in love with as a child (which is not to say I didn’t eat my fair share of the canned version). Tangy-sweet, with bits of fresh cranberry, I love the hint of orange. For me, Thanksgiving just isn’t right without it.

    If you like, personalize your sauce with one of these yummy additions:
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • A pinch (or more) of hot pepper flakes
  • Spice it up with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped, sautéed apples (about 1 to 2 apples)
  • Chopped, seedless peeled tangerine segments (about 2 tangerines)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
Cranberry Compote ingredients. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Cranberry Compote ingredients

Recipe: Cranberry Compote

Makes about 2 cups

  • 14 oz (about 4 cups) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  1. Put the cranberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. Stir to combine, then place over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries soften and pop and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

  • The compote can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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