There is usually at least one recipe that gets passed down through the generations. Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, we have always had Cranberry Relish at the table.
This recipe is from my grandmother’s recipe box (on my mother’s side). The yellowed, stained, and dog-eared card tell a story of potentially hundreds of holiday dinners, family gatherings, and memories formed. My grandmother was born in 1908 and sadly passed just a few years short of her 100th birthday. She had a good run of things… we like to think it was her ritualistic evening cocktail that kept her young (or at least that’s what I’m betting on, considering my own habits). She was elegant, giving, and always exuded an air of grace. I don’t know where she obtained the recipe – if it was passed down to her or she found on her own, suffice it to say, this Cranberry Relish recipe has stood the test of time.
There’s cranberry sauce and cranberry relish, so what’s the difference you may ask? Generally speaking, cranberry sauce is composed of cranberries, sugar, and water cooked down on the stovetop. Cranberry relish on the other hand, is prepared relatively the same way, but it is raw. No cooking is needed and so it is often quicker and easier to put together. I also find that a relish is more refreshing and does a better job of cutting through some of the heavier flavors from other Thanksgiving dishes.
Here are a few reasons why Cranberry Relish is the way to go:
- It’s sweet, a little tart, and totally refreshing – almost like a palate cleaner.
- It’s SO quick and easy to make! It can be prepared in just 5 minutes!
- It’s only 4 ingredients! Yet packed with flavor!
- It can be made several days ahead of time, leaving you more time during the holidays to socialize, rather than being stuck in the kitchen!
- It has passed at least 3 generations of taste-testers.
- 1 pound fresh cranberries, (frozen/thawed cranberries are ok too)
- 1 small navel orange, zested and juiced
- ¾ - 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the cranberries and orange juice. Pulse several times until evenly chopped.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the orange zest and bourbon. Add ¾ cup of sugar mix well and taste. If it is too tart for your tastes, add a little bit more sugar (up to one cup in total). Mix well.
- May be served right away, but I think it gets even better if it's refrigerated overnight.
Meggan | Culinary Hill says
Hey, what a nifty idea! I have never really had cranberries raw, but why not? 3 generations can’t be wrong! I know I’m a little late and Thanksgiving has already passed, but I like cranberries any time of year anyway. Pregnancy cravings! 😉
I hope you give them a try! Congratulations on your pregnancy!!! 🙂
Pat Taylor says
And I thought your mother was a tough act to follow, your grandmother was the best in every area. Lucky you and yours. Xo. Pat
Thanks, Pat! She definitely set the bar high!
Kate (your cousin) says
This is still the recipe I always make! Definitely agree that it cuts through all the richness.
I’m so glad we had such a kitchen savvy grandmother/great-grandmother 🙂
My requirement is that it only passes 2 generations of taste testers. So I guess I can use this……I feel like I can get my entire Christmas menu from your site! I presume it will be ok to use frozen cranberries? Fresh is stupidly expensive here in Australia. PS Love the addition of bourbon. So now you’ve covered bourbon for breakfast and dinner….is a dessert coming up soon?
Ha! Yes, I suppose the time is sufficient 🙂 Yes, frozen and thawed cranberries work perfectly fine! In fact, I’ll make a note of that in the recipe – thanks for asking!
As far as bourbon for dessert…I’m sure I come could come up with a bourbon dessert item – I know my husband would like that 🙂
Culinary Ginger says
I love the addition of the orange it adds great flavor, but I’ve never thought of adding bourbon, I love this idea. Your grandmother has a great recipe.
Thanks! In our family, bourbon makes everything better 🙂
Looks beautiful, I love family recipes! Since I just made cranberry sauce and we almost ate it all, I’ll be truing this relish for Thanksgiving! So simple, creative and I’m sure delicious!!!
Thanks, Mira! I hope you enjoy!