Suzi's Blog

Spiced Cranberry Orange Compote


They are not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas any more. Cranberries bring a bright, tart flavor to whatever you choose to adorn, mix, or bake with.

This recipe is from The Great American Cookbook, the wonderful state-by-state array of recipes compiled 50 years ago by Clementine Paddleford. Mention “cranberries” and surely “Maine” pops into mind. This recipe is a classic combination of cranberries and orange, frosted with notes of cinnamon and clove.

What is a compote? It’s another French creation, a mixture of fruit and sugar syrup, that first appeared in 17th century. What to do with it? Eat it. In a bowl. By itself. Or, you can have ice cream or yogurt in the bowl. Or, you can top off angel food cake or pound cake. Or, you can serve it as a side to roast poultry. This compote paired with dark, moist turkey meat is an experience that should not deny yourself.

Spiced Cranberry Orange Compote

Yield: serves several depending on


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 2-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 3 large seedless oranges, peeled, white pith complete removed, and sliced ½ inch thick
  • 4 cups cranberries, fresh is best, defrosted will suffice


Combine the water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 5minutes. Add the orange slices, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the cranberries and continue to simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the liquid becomes syrupy and the cranberry skins pop open. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Serve topped with whipped cream, or use as a topping for cake or ice cream.

Source:  The Great American Cookbook by Clementine Paddleford

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/60th second at ISO-1250



Orange Honey Syrup for Cornbread

A few days ago, I posted a recipe for chipotle cornbread to use in stuffing. Cornbread recipes came, literally, in all flavors. And all cultures have adopted cornbreads. In Greece, they make cornbreads called bobota. The Greeks thankfully  bear us gifts. Cornbread can be dry. You’ve surely had some that seem to be as delicate as hay. Hence, the rage to add all kinds of things to improve cornbread flavor and texture: honey, creamed corn, peppers, onions, bacon, … You see some creamed corn kernels in that picture above.

The Greek solution for making cornbread delicious is to add flavor and liquid. This orange-honey syrup is made and poured into holes that have been poked in a freshly baked bobota. The result is sticky. And sweet. You don’t need butter when you do this, but you are of course free to add it on. And, you don’t need a bobota either. You can employ this syrup with any cornbread.

We’ve used this syrup with the chipotle cornbread to produce a rich amalgam of flavors. This is definitely finger lickin’.

This recipe calls for the juice of one orange, plus enough water to make 1 cup. I prefer not to have any water and simply make it all juice. It’s stickier and sweeter.

This recipe is from the Cornbread Gospels, a book I have fallen in love with. It’s winter here in New York, really winter. Cornbread can put a smile on your face for breakfast, as a side at lunch, and surely at dinner. You’ll see some more wonderful ideas from Cornbread Gospels over the coming cold months.


Orange Honey Syrup

Yield: 1 ½ cups


  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Juice from one orange plus water to equal 1 cup
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
  • 6 whole cloves


Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is a thin syrup, about 4 minutes. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Remove the cloves and pour the syrup over the cornbread.


Source: Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon