How to Make Cranberry Lime Compote

Cranberry Lime CompoteThis cranberry lime compote kicks canned cranberry sauce’s butt. Excuse my language, but it’s really, really good, but let’s back up a bit. What is a compote? A compote is one of two types of fruit sauces. (Coulis is the other one, but we’ll talk about that later.)  This one is terrifically tart and can accompany sweet or savory dishes. It makes an excellent gift and it’s my favorite kind of recipe — dump everything in a pot and stir.

How to Make Cranberry Lime Compote

To make a compote, fruit, usually cut into chunks, is simmered with sugar, spices, and if you’re lucky a little booze. (Wink.) You can use fresh, frozen or dried fruits and the spices of your choice.

This Cranberry Lime Compote is the result of simmering cranberries in a delicious mix of sugar, water, molasses, and lime juice and zest until the berries burst, the sugar melts and your compote thickens. Easy peasy!

Unlike preserves or jellies, compotes are meant to be enjoyed right away, not put up for later. They’re typically used as an ingredient in a dish, or a garnish. Add a spoonful to a bowl of vanilla ice cream, spread it on a slice of pound cake or angel food cake, stir a spoonful into your yogurt,  or add a small bowl of your compote to  your next cheese board. I love the flavor combo of tart compote alongside a sharp cheddar. (Level up my Easy Pantry Cheeseboard with a little compote for your next nosh session!) For a sweet treat, check out this version in my No Bake Cranberry Cheesecakes in Jars.

Cranberry Lime Compote

Condiments, Recipes, Techniques

Cranberry Lime Compote


  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • Juice and zest from one lime, zest in strips


  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, water, molasses and the juice and zest from one lime in a medium pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the berries burst, sugar melts and the compote thickens, about 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken more as it cools. Remove the zest strips out of the compote and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
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