I emailed my mother to get her cranberry relish recipe, the one my husband and I descend on like a pair of hungry fruit bats each year. She emailed me the recipe, but what she sent didn’t quite match my memory of the dish because I thought it had apples in it. By the time I got the recipe, she and my dad were on the road to Texas, to visit my sister. And though my parents finally broke down and bought a pre-paid cell phone, they rarely turn it on, so I was stuck.
I decided to make it with the apples, just because I couldn’t see what it would hurt. My mom said to prepare this a couple of days ahead of time because it gets better over time, so I made it this afternoon. Wow! I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep our hands off of it until Thursday. I suppose that relish was traditionally meant to complement the turkey (or add flavor to it if you ask me, not a turkey lover even in my omnivore days). But to me it makes a great side dish. Or even a dessert. I can just imagine it over some vanilla soy ice cream. Mmmm. Stop me before I descend on the fridge!
UPDATE: I took my version of this dish to my parents’ house for Christmas, and my father told me he had never added apples because he likes to make a lot and freeze it. But he admitted that my relish with apples was delicious. Success!
The Brown Family's Cranberry Relish Recipe
The secret to this unique relish is using whole oranges--skin and all. Try to find organic ones.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 organic navel orange scrubbed and cut into 8 pieces
- 2 apples peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 1/4 to 1 cup natural sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
Wash the cranberries and remove any stems, bad cranberries, or inedible stuff you find. Put half of the cranberries, orange (unpeeled), and apple into the food processor and pulse to chop coarsely. Some larger pieces are okay, but nothing big enough to choke on. Pour into a bowl and process the other half of the fruit. Put it into a bowl, add the sugar to taste, and mix in the pecans.
Refrigerate it for a day or two to allow the flavors to develop. Quick! If you start now, it’ll be ready by Thanksgiving.
After I posted this, my father let me know that they never put apples in it because they like to freeze the leftovers and were not sure that the apples would freeze well. So feel free to leave out the apples, though I think they add sweetness and allow me to cut down on the amount of sugar I use.
Speaking of Thanksgiving–if you’re looking for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes, check out my master list of Thanksgiving recipes! There’s everything from main dishes (like Thanksgiving Loaf) to side dishes (like Green Bean Casserole) to desserts (like Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake).