Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cranberry Relish

Every family has one or two recipes that come out during the holidays that are fairly unique to their family.  My family has Cranberry Relish.

It's not a pickled relish as you might expect from a hot dog relish.  It's all fruit, made with fresh cranberries, a whole orange, a whole apple, and just enough sugar to take the puckery edge off a bit.

Over the years, this has become my favorite condiment for that after-Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing sandwich.  I'll gladly pass the jellied stuff for a big heaping spoonful of cranberry relish.

Enjoy the recipe below.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Relish

Ocean Spray actually sold a similar product in a tub in the refrigerator section of the grocery store back in the 80's or 90's.  It came in various additional flavors, such as cran-raspberry, but the texture and taste was nearly the same.  I'm not sure what ever happened to them.

1 12oz package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 large range, preferably a thin-skinned variety
1 whole apple, preferably a less-tart variety
1/2 to 1 cup of granulated sugar to taste

  1. Wash the apple and remove the core and seeds.  Chop the rest of the apple, skin and all, into large chunks.
  2. Wash the orange and slice-off the stem and blossom end so that you can see the orange flesh.  If using a thick-skinned variety, such as a navel orange optionally remove half of the peel (the thick white pith is the most bitter part).  Chop the remainder of the orange into large chunks, removing any seeds as best as you can.
  3. Wash cranberries if using fresh.
  4. Place the apple and orange chunks into the bowl of a food processor outfitted with a steel blade.  Process in pulses until the fruit is very finely chopped, almost pureed.
  5. Add the cranberries.  Pulse just until the mixture is the texture of hot dog relish.
  6. Remove mixture to a bowl.  Stir-in 1/2 cup of sugar.  Taste and add additional sugar until you like it.  Keep in mind that the mixture will sweeten slightly as it sits, so you may wish to under-sweeten it and add more sugar the next day.
  7. Pack into an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.  Serve.
Optional Canning Instructions
This product is made of high-acid ingredients and thus is safe to can.  The instructions provided below were devised by reviewing recipes for pickle relish and making some adjustments to buy a little extra safety.
  1. If the relish seems dry, add about 1/2 cup of water or commercial orange juice to loosen it up.  This will keep the density down for safety.  You might also wish to allow the mixture to macerate overnight in the refrigerator, which usually extracts juices naturally from the fruit and softens it.
  2. In a large pot, heat the mixture just until it is heated through and is at a simmer.  Remove from the heat.
  3. Pack into jars no larger than quarts.  Leave 1/2 inch head space.  De-bubble as best as you can, wipe the rims, and add lids and rings.
  4. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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