Welcome to the greatest cranberry recipe ever. I made this for my family last Christmas and everybody loved it - even my 7 year old nephew. I've been making it for my own Thanksgiving dinners for years. One of the things I love most about it is how easy and "unmessy" it is. The most work-intensive part is chopping up the pears. I also love that you don't put the cranberries through a food mill - so it stays chunky and you keep the skins - where a lot of the nutrition lies. I love to eat this leftover for days after Thanksgiving. I treat it like dessert since I am not a fan of pumpkin pie. I cut the sugar to about 3/4 cup - a whole cup is a little too sweet for me. But if you like it sweeter, keep it in. Don't try to cut the sugar too much. Cranberries are very bitter on their own and need a lot of sugar! I skip the last two steps - the canning part - and just put it in the fridge and eat it for many days after the holiday meal!
- 3 pounds thin-skinned pears
- 1 pint cranberries (approximately 8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Chop pears into small pieces. Place in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot. Add cranberries and orange juice.
- Put a lid on the pot and place it over low heat. Cook until the pears are very, very soft and the cranberries have popped, about 1 hour.
- When the pears are soft, use a potato masher to break the fruit. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Raise temperature to medium-high heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, to help evaporate the liquid in the compote. When it has darkened in color and no longer looks watery, it is done.
- Funnel compote into prepared pint jars and process in a boiling water for 20 minutes. Be sure to read our post on Canning Basics if you have any questions.
- When time is up, place jars on a folded kitchen towel to cool. Once jars are cool, check seals and store in a cool, dark place.
Enjoy the cranberries and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Beth Kitchin, PhD, RDN
Assistant Professor, Nutrition Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham