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2000s Recipes + Menus

Cranberry, Quince, and Pearl Onion Compote

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr
November 2008
In this chutney-like compote, quince lends a ripe-pear creaminess, and pearl onions a lush sweetness, to tart cranberries. Learn the story behind the Over the Top Thanksgiving menu in our series The Recipe.
  • 1/2 lb pearl onions (preferably red; 2 cups)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 quinces, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed if frozen)
  • Trim root end of each onion and cut an X in it. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute, then drain in a colander. Cool slightly, then peel.
  • Bring juice, sugar, vinegar, and spices to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add onions and quinces and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  • Add cranberries and simmer until tender but not falling apart, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard cloves. Transfer fruit and onions to a bowl using a slotted spoon, then boil syrup, if necessary, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour syrup over compote and cool to room temperature.
Cooks’ note: Compote can be made 3 days ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.