When I was a child my grandmother always collected rainwater and cooked with it. This recipe has been in our family for as long as my mother and I can remember.

1/4 pound of kumquats (approximately 10-12)
3 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
1 cup rainwater or filtered water
1 cup sugar

Wash the cranberries and kumquats. Cut the kumquats into quarters ellipsoidally. Remove the seeds. Put the water and the sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Stir for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add the sliced kumquats and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the kumquats with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the cranberries to the syrup mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Completely cool the syrup-cranberry mixture.

Just before serving add the kumquats to the cranberry mixture. This compote can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator but remember not to add the kumquats until just before serving so they will retain their orange colour. It will keep for several days after Thanksgiving if sealed in an airtight container.


This cranberry dish is great served with Thanksgiving turkey as well as baked Christmas ham. Buy the kumquats now and refrigerate them as they will soon be out of season and hard to find.

The kumquat is of the Fortunella genus formerly placed under Citrus Japonica and was cultivated in China and Japan. They were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune of the London Horticultural Society and brought to America shortly thereafter. They are also eaten fresh or preserved and their branches used in Christmas decorations.

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