Gifts From Your Kitchen

Handmade gifts are the best kind of present, especially when they are edible and beautifully packaged. Sharing time in the kitchen with your child to prepare an offering is more than a small gesture; it’s very personal one. You create a special memory.

This season, try making Cranberry and Winter Pear Compote. Sweet, yet seductively tart, the cranberry sauce remains the perfect accompaniment for a holiday table and throughout the year! Plus, the recipe is simple, yet elegant.


Cranberries and Winter Pear Compote


  • 1 1/2  cup water (or crisp white wine,
  • such as a sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 fresh pears, any variety, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup reconstituted currents or raisins (soak fruit in water or wine to plump)



In a saucepan, combine water or wine, lemon peel, lemon juice, sugars and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken (about five minutes).

Stir in pear, cranberries and raisins, and bring to a boil again. Make sure cranberries are covered in liquid. If needed, add a bit more liquid. Cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer for five to 10 minutes, until you hear the cranberries pop. The natural pectin will begin to thicken the sauce. Stir. The compote will continue to thicken as it cools.

Serve hot or chilled. If gift giving, cool slightly before placing in decorative glassware and cool before sealing.

Makes four one-cup servings.


Chef Gigi Gaggero is the owner of Kids Culinary Adventures in Belmont.




Tips for Serving Cranberry Pear Compote

Make an inventive dessert bruschetta with fruit compote, nuts and toasted French bread.

Use as a side to accompany a holiday turkey or slather on turkey sandwiches.

Use over ice creams and mix into yogurt and breakfast grains.

Spoon hot or chilled over a slice of cheesecake.

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