Oh how I love Thanksgiving! I love everything about it this sincerest of holidays. Including the food! I am thankful to have spent many Thanksgivings with my in-laws, which are steeped in some well-loved traditions such as gathering as an extended family, eating the Thanksgiving feast early afternoon on a long covered patio (it's warm enough where they are), and preparing mostly the same menu. My favorite thing on this menu is my mothers-in-law's fresh cranberry relish, which she refers to simply as "The Cranberries." It's now Audrey's favorite thing too. So fun!
I learned to make it a few years ago and this year it is my assignment so I decided to document the process and share it with you!
One note: this fresh cranberry sauce needs to sit at least 24 hours to macerate--blending the flavors and absorbing the sugar (so if you were to make it right now you'd have just enough time!). 48 is better and you could certainly make it three or four days ahead. It's great for leftovers too, perfect for spreading on turkey sandwiches, and a thoughtful send off for your guests. Would be beautiful in little mason jars to take home.
Click through to read the recipe and see the how-to.
FRESH CRANBERRY RELISH
- 6 12-oz bags of fresh cranberries (about 14 cups)
- 7 c sugar
- 3 navel oranges
- 4 large apples (my MIL uses 2 Granny Smith and 2 other...I used 4 Honeycrisp)
- A Cuisinart mixer
Wash and then zest all the rind from three oranges (save the zest). Cut off the pith and remove the fruit.
Wash the apples. Remove the seeds and stem. Cut them into quarters.
Working in batches, add some apples, cranberries, zest, oranges and sugar to the bowl of your Cuisinart mixer. I processed this in six batches: about 2 1/2 c cranberries, 1/2 and orange, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 of an apple and a bit of the zest.
Pulse the Cuisinart until the mixture looks like this. We like it without big chunks but not so fine that it is totally pureed.
Pour the batches out of the Cuisinart bowl into a larger bowl and add the final cup of sugar at the end. Mix it thoroughly. Refrigerate.
These proportions can certainly be played with to your taste--add more orange and zest of you like it, etc.
After sitting for a day the relish turns the characteristic bright cranberry color. So beautiful! Put it in a pretty dish and serve.