Cranberry sauce is a disgusting glob of gelatinous goop that comes out of a can. Cranberry relish is a nutritious salad-like condiment that is made with the goodness of the whole cranberry. It’s only draw back is it does have a healthy dose of sugar in it, but since it is only usually eaten during the holidays it’s a seasonal treat.
One thing that my mother absolutely has to have with her dressing is cranberry sauce. Sometimes when we eat out and find dressing on a buffet my mother will ask for it even in the middle of July.
My Grandmother made the best cranberry relish ever, I watched her make it dozens of times, but unfortunately she never used a recipe and it varied from time to time. I have tried dozens of recipes and this one is the closest to grandma’s… I have combined the best out of the dozens of recipes that I have tried and came up with this.
The addition of the Grand Mariner was suggested by a Chef that would visit the Frazier Museum from time to time on catering jobs. I can occasionally get one or two of those airline sized bottles and that’s just enough to do it. It is totally optional, but adds an amazing depth of flavor to the recipe.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
- 1 cup cubed apple with skin, prefer granny smith
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for a more southern style
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier, or other orange flavored liquor (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 8oz can of mandarin orange segments, lightly chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- Wash the granny smith apples well to remove any pesticide residue. Cube the apples into ½ inch cubes with the peel still on.
- Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid simmers. While the liquid is boiling you may hear some of the cranberries pop, this is nothing to worry with.
- Add the apples, walnuts (or pecans for a southern flavor), raisins, Grand Marnier, orange and lemon juices, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir lightly and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.
- It is best when you allow the flavors to blend overnight or for several hours in the refrigerator. Relish may be frozen... if there are leftovers.