Smoking Bishop Cranberry and Fig Compote

By • November 13, 2011 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: The other day, I was heating a cup of Smoking Bishop (my favorite holiday punch, the recipe for which I’ve just posted) for Mr. T, while pondering what to do with the bag of organic cranberries I’d purchased that day. The deep, warming aroma of the spiced wine and port reminded me of Alice Waters’ tasty dessert made of figs poached in lightly spiced red wine, that are served with coffee ice cream. Problem solved: I immediately combined the basic formula for the Smoking Bishop, plumped up a few figs in it and added my cranberries and a tart apple, to create this compote. This needs at least a few days to mellow before it’s at its best. Once it’s ready, however, you’ll be glad you waited. Enjoy!! ;o) AntoniaJames

Serves 4 - 6

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed anise seeds (I prefer ones from Spain.)
  • 1/3 cup apple brandy
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup red wine (I use a vin ordinaire from southern France.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 dried black mission figs, chopped into 6 – 8 pieces each
  • 2 tablespoons regular molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 ounces organic cranberries
  • 1 apple that's been peeled, cored and grated
  • 2/3 cup apple cider, preferably unpasteurized
  • ½ cup ruby port
  1. Combine in a heavy saucepan over medium heat all of the ingredients except the cranberries, apple, cider and port.
  2. Simmer for about 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the cranberries and apple and simmer for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the port and cider and simmer for another two minutes.
  4. Cool and then put in a jar and refrigerate, covered, for at least a few days before serving. (Five or six, or more, is even better.)
  5. Enjoy! ;o)

Comments (8) Questions (0)

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Jampro

over 2 years ago Bevi

If I use star anise, how much would you recommend that I use?

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I actually tried it, using about 1 1/2 whole star anise (one was broken). I wrapped it in cheesecloth with some whole cloves. I actually found that its flavor was too dominant when I tasted the compote while still just warm, so I pulled it out right away. Now (five days later), the flavor is just barely in the background, and not so noticeable, as the other flavors have come together. That said, unless you like and know that everyone else really likes star anise, go easy on it. In fact, I wouldn't put it in if serving a crowd. ;o) P.S. Even if you make it a few days in advance, which you should, if you have an extra burner, you should warm this stuff up over very low heat, with the lid off, just to get its gorgeous smell into your (or whoever's) kitchen and house. I plan to!! (Maybe I'll put it in a small crock pot, with the lid off.)

Jampro

over 2 years ago Bevi

Thanks AJ, I have one more store I can scour for anise seeds; otherwise I will leave out entirely. Making this tomorrow.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

If you can't find the anise seeds, don't worry! I made a batch without them, using about a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg instead, and it was (is!) fantastic. (I put a few dried bing cherries and finely chopped prunes in that one instead of the figs. Delicious.) This is very flexible. The red wine + port + spices + dried fruit really define it. ;o)

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Do you think I could use pear brandy or kirshwasser in place of the apple brandy? I haven't decided on what food52 cranberry sauce recipe to make for T-day, and this is definitely a contender.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes!! The brandy gives it oomph without lending a specific flavor, given the strength of everything else in this. Of course, you could always float a bit, to get that gorgeous pear brandy aroma (and other benefits) . . . . . ;o) P.S. Be sure to make this a few days ahead. It's much, much tastier 48 hours later.

Jampro

over 2 years ago Bevi

Whatever, between the recipe and your comment I have all the ingredients. This is taking the trip to the Bird.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Alas, despite two attempts, not all of the ingredients and not all of the instructions are appearing. The recipe also calls for 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 8 dried black mission figs (cut into 6 - 8 pieces, each), 2 tablespoons regular molasses, 8 ounces organic cranberries, 1 tart apple that’s been peeled, cored and grated and ½ cup ruby port. The cranberries and apple are added after the other ingredients have simmered for ten minutes. This should be served after a few days, preferably five or six, or more. ;o)