Cranberry Relish




Cranberry Sauce is a Thanksgiving staple that everyone has come to expect to be served with their Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Yams and Green Bean Casserole. Personally, I've always considered the stuff in a can to be slightly less than edible. Then there's the home made variety of boiling the berries and sugar in water to made a more palatable jelly. Again, to me it's just too sweet and not that much better than the canned stuff.

There is so much flavor in fresh (or frozen) cranberries that it shouldn't be destroyed by cooking it! This Cranberry Relish recipe is so good, you'll never consider exposing a cranberry to heat again. It's also so easy to make, you'll have more time for the main dishes. This recipe should be prepared the day before serving so the relish has the time to set up.

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Step 1: Ingredients

The ingredients are about as easy as they could get! Easy to remember too. Just one of everything…

1 Package fresh or frozen Cranberries †

1 Large Orange (or 2 smaller ones)
If you know how to feel oranges for the juicier ones, get as juicy as you can find.

1 Cup Sugar or Splenda®

A little Orange Juice if needed

You will also need a potato brush (or a stiff brush reserved exclusively for cleaning fruits and vegetables ), a very sharp knife, a rubber spatula, a blender and a medium glass bowl.

† An interesting thing about cranberries is that they stay just as fresh and crisp after being frozen! This is why they're available year 'round.

Step 2: Preperation

Like all fresh produce you purchase from the grocery, everything must be washed thoroughly.

Empty the cranberries into a colander and rinse with warm water. You don't need to thaw them, this cleaning will perform that task for you. Turn the berries while rinsing and pick out any bruised or wrinkled ones. These will be disposed of.

Rinse and lightly scrub the orange with a potato scrubber or stiff brush.

Cut the orange into six or eight sections. If you didn't get a navel orange, now would be a good time to seed it.

Step 3: Make the Relish!

Pour about a cup of the cranberries and an orange section (peel and all) into the blender. Place the cover on the blender and run it about medium speed.

Use the rubber spatula through the center of the lid to push ingredients down to the blade until it's ground enough to flow itself. Be careful not to push too far. You don't want bits of rubber through your relish.

If the orange isn't juicy enough to allow the mixture to grind up, add a little juice.

As it grinds, continue adding cranberries, orange sections and juice (if needed) until it's all ground and about the consistency of a thick milk shake. While still blending, gradually add the sugar (sweetener) into the mixture.

Note that if the orange is juicy enough, you may not need any juice at all!

Step 4: Chill

Pour the contents of the blender into a glass bowl and cover with the bowl's cover, plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Place the bowl into the refrigerator and chill 4 hours or overnight.

Step 5: Serve

You can serve the relish right from the bowl or transfer it into your Mom's antique serving dish.

Don't bother preparing the canned or cooked cranberry sauce, because as soon as your family and guests taste this, the sauce stuff will be a distant memory!

Leftovers isn't a problem either, use this relish anywhere you might use jam. It tastes great on bagels with cream cheese or with natural peanut butter in a sandwich. Prepared relish will keep covered for about a week.

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    13 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 5

    'been serving that for years.  My mother served it as long as I can remember.  I prefer to start with about 1/2 cup of sugar to two bags of cranberries and two oranges.  If it is not sweet enough you add more.  It can get too sweet sometimes and you can't take out sugar.  Definitely let it sit overnight, I think.

    I also buy four of five bags of berries and freeze them.  In June or July you make a fresh batch.  What a perfect cold salad on a hot summer afternoon.  Always gets comments when you bring a bowl to a picnic potluck.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    In Scandinavia we have a variant of the Cranberry, smaller more moist and having the sting of taste. Fresh or frozen in the blender with sugar and the relish is ready! (This variant is in Sweden called Lingon and in Norway Tyttebær)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    My Mother in-law makes this with pecans, and she adds a prepared package of cranberry jello.....very good!!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I make this relish every year. You can make a great cranberry-orange bread with the leftovers. Just take your favorite banana bread recipe and substitute 1/2 cup of the relish for every banana the original recipe calls for.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds pretty good! You should publish it as your own instructable! LasVegas


    12 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds good too. I forgot to say that you should probably chill the fresh cranberry chutney for a little while before serving. It doesn't take that long to chill (an hour maybe) because the cranberries, orange, and apple are usually cool before the chopping. I've never tried the hot cranberry sauce because I like this cold relish so much, but I may just have to try the hot version soon. Thanks for sharing!


    12 years ago on Step 5

    I too love the fresh cranberry relish! The variation my mother uses year after year is: 1 bag cranberries, 1 whole orange (peel et all), 1 whole apple (core et all), 1 cup of sugar (though I use less and sometimes sub some splenda instead), and 1/4c pecans (optional) - put the whole thing in food processor and chop until it is a chutney consistency. It's mmm mmm nummy!


    12 years ago

    I make the same sort of relish every year, and I have two UPGRADES, or maybe three.

    1. Improve the appearance 500% by cooking it over medium heat for just a few minutes. The whole thing gets a gorgeous red color that only comes out when cooked a bit. It will not alter the flavor.
    2. Use a ruby red grapefruit instead of an orange.
    3. Use the zest and the fruit, but less of the pith (take out as much of the white part of the citrus as possible).


    13 years ago

    I was thinking relish+cranberry, but this doesn't sound that bad (Minus the pith would be nice, however...) I didn't know everyone had Green Bean Cassarole! Someone always makes it, and no one ever eats it...


    13 years ago

    i just made this for the first time goes great with both ham and turkey...after I made it, I realized that this recipe is actually on the ocean spray bag...


    13 years ago

    I've had this and it's good, but making a peanut butter and cranberry relish sandwich sounds totally awesome!

    1 reply

    Reply 13 years ago

    The version you're thinking of also has celery, apples, lemon zest, and allspice. Probably something else I'm forgetting at the moment. But yeah- the fresh stuff is so far removed from the cooked/canned versions as to be from a different planet. It makes fabulous leftover sandwiches, though I'm a bit concerned about the PB&C.