So growing up my mother would gratuitously buy that canned cranberry gelatinous stuff. Now I’m not knocking it but there is just something odd about it. Actually I think it’s that suction sound it makes coming out of the can that wigs me out more than anything. Food shouldn’t make that sound. Just sayin…
Now I love love LOVE fresh cranberries and one of my favorite things to me is my Lemon Cranberry Orange Bruffins however I’ve never found a homemade cranberry relish I’ve liked. Their were either sickening sweet, had 9,000 things in it (seriously.. nuts in cranberry relish? Um no, that’s yucky) OR it was so bitter that every part of your body puckered. So that being said I set out on making what I feel is the ultimate cranberry relish.
I knew what flavors went together but it was just figuring out the ratio. Once I got that down, I was in LOVEEEEEEEEE. I always keep a jar of this in my fridge as it’s great in cakes, sauces or yes, even on toast. Plus if you want a savory treat… add this on top of a brie round, wrap it in dough and bake. Oh dear LORD child you will think you’ve died and gone to heaven!
Anyway, I thought it was time to share this with you having Thanksgiving next week. Now please, continue buying the canned stuff as it’s good in its own right however I strongly urge you to make this! You see once you taste this amazing relish you’ll use it more than just for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This as the fruit filling of a cupcake or cake with some cream cheese frosting or better yet, cheesecake… EPIC!
If you wanted to kick this up a notch you could easily add in some crispy minced bacon and minced jalapeno to give it an over-the-top taste. Or add in some bourbon or whiskey while the liquids are boiling to give it a true flavor treat!
What I tend to do is buy about 4 pounds of cranberries when they are season and then just freeze them as this stuff in the summer over grilled pork chops is incredible. And trust me I learned my lesson the hard way one summer trying to find cranberries in the store. Yeah, you can buy frozen but nah, it’s not the same as the ones you get fresh.
This recipe is ridiculously easy to make. Just bring the liquid, sugar and seasonings to a boil and then pop in the cranberries. What I recommend is add a small dab of butter to the mix to help curb the foaming. You really want to remove that stuff for your final presentation. It doesn’t really muddle the taste much but it makes the mixture cloudy.
When you make this if you don’t like the whole berries, once it’s cooked just puree it or run it through a food mill. Same great flavor, just no chunks. But then I’d guess you’d have to call it Cranberry Sauce and not relish cause relish kinda implies chunks.
So this Thanksgiving along side your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes you need to have this gorgeous dish as well.Print
- 1 – 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (go with 1 cup if you prefer a more tart version)
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 1/2-3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 16 ounce bag fresh cranberries
- Zest of 1 orange – just the orange part
- In a large, heavy saucepan, add sugar, juice and cinnamon and grated ginger.
- Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, syrup is clear and comes to a rolling boil, about 3 minutes.
- In a colander, rinse and pick over the cranberries to remove any mushy ones.
- Add cranberries to boiling syrup and continue cooking, uncovered, just until they begin to pop, about 2-5 minutes (set the timer). Be careful not to cook them too long or they will get mushy.
- Skim the foam off the surface with a metal spoon and discard.
- Remove from heat, stir in orange zest and cool to room temperature, uncovered.
- Place in container, cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
If you prefer to have it smoother, once you add in the orange zest either use an Immersion blender on it or run it through a food mill/sieve to remove any pieces.