Smoking Bishop Cranberry and Fig Compote

By • November 13, 2011 8 Comments

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Author Notes: Some of you may remember that this recipe was selected by Melissa Clark and Leonard Lopate for one of their pre-Thanksgiving holiday shows on WNYC a few years ago. They interviewed me about it, asking first of course, "What's a Smoking Bishop?" A Bishop is a warm punch made with fruit and port (port being the drink associated with bishops). The reference to a "Smoking Bishop" comes from the very end of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." Now, getting back to the recipe itself: Like any chutney or similar condiment, 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. I hope you enjoy this. ;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. I hope you enjoy this. ;o)

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