This recipe plays on the balance of sweet and tart. Cranberries as we all know, are the fruit queen of the puckery goodness, and kumquats offer a really bright citrus note. Kumquats are unique in that unlike most citrus fruit which have bitter skins and sweet flesh, the skins are actually the pleasant tangy component of the fruit while the flesh is slightly bitter! Balanced out with some chewy dried cherries and addictive sweet persimmons, and you’ve got a gorgeous accompaniment to any hearty main. This is what I did:
Cranberry Kumquat Compote with Dried Cherries and Persimmons
- In a large saucepot over medium high heat, combine the sugar with the water, kumquats and the vanilla seeds and residual bean. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved in the liquid.
- Once dissolved, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the kumquats are translucent in colour, about 12 minutes. Carefully remove just the kumquats and transfer to a separate bowl or container.
- Return the pot (and kumquat liquid) to the burner and add in the cranberries. Bring to a boil, and as soon as you see some bubbles, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the cranberries begin to gently pop, about 5 minutes. Be careful, because the hot berries can burn you if they pop your way.
- Throw in the dried cherries and stir until they are plumped up, about another 6 minutes. Discard the residual vanilla bean.
- If serving immediately, then toss in the diced persimmons and the reserved kumquats and stir to heat through. If making ahead, you can store the cranberry/cherry mixture in one container, the kumquats in another, and wait to peel the persimmons until right before rewarming everything together.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.