A sauce favored by Americans for their Thanksgiving turkey, we Australians also enjoy this with Christmas turkey and ham.–Margaret Fulton
LC Not Just For Turkey Note
We interrupt the planning of many a lovely Thanksgiving menu for an important public service announcement: This sweetly tart cranberry and orange relish is lovely alongside more than just turkey. It’s also a sassy complement to many a roast, whether chicken, pork, or duck. It can even embellish weeknight chops and cutlets.
Not only is the condiment versatile in its application, but in its very incarnation. We’ve been dabbling with adding various ingredients, depending on our mood and what’s in our pantry, and we’ve yet to have it go awry. Here, things we’ve been trying or thinking of trying—uh, just not all of them at once:
toss in a cinnamon stick
pour in a scant shot of Grand Marnier at the last second
add a few smashed coins of ginger
dispense with the orange and swap in ginger beer and crystallized ginger
substitute a splash of red wine, port, or bourbon for the OJ
stir chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts just before dinner
swap apple cider for the orange
toss finely chopped pineapple in along with everything else
sprinkle with pomegranate seeds
add a star anise (and don’t forget to remove the choking hazard prior to serving…or make certain it finds its way onto your mother-in-law’s plate).
Cranberry and Orange Relish
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 15 M
- Makes 2 cups
- 10 to 12 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or just blitz some granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- Grated zest of 1 small orange, preferably organic
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1. Gently simmer all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over moderate heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens somewhat. (For a runny, saucy sauce, let it simmer just a few minutes less. For a more jellied version, simply let it simmer a few minutes longer.)
- 2. Let cool before serving. Ideally, cover and refrigerate the relish for up to several days, which not only affords you more time on Thanksgiving morning, but allows the flavors to meld quite nicely.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This recipe uses the same ingredients my mother used to make her cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving, so I’ve fond memories of this. It couldn’t be simpler to make and results in a very nice, fresh change from canned cranberry sauces. While the recipe calls for frozen cranberries, fresh ones can be used when in season and the amounts of ingredients can be adjusted to your taste. I liked it best after it had been in the fridge overnight and the flavors really blended.
Although this is a basic cranberry relish, it’s simple to prepare with so few ingredients. And the orange juice and zest add a nice contrast of flavor. Ten minutes is the perfect amount of time to cook it, as the majority of the berries pop but still have plenty of texture. Perfectly sweet and tart!
I loved making a Thanksgiving recipe—a recipe for our quintessentially American holiday—from an Australian author. She notes they enjoy it with their Christmas meal as well, and we will too! It’s quick, easy, and can be made ahead, all pluses that make for an easier day-of. If it wasn’t delicious, then the speed and convenience would count for nothing. But it was delicious! I’d double the recipe next time so it doesn’t get devoured on its first serving, seeing as 2 cups of cranberry relish don’t go a very long way. Also next time I’ll start with fresh cranberries and count on the cooking time being a little bit shorter to make up for the starting temperature of the berries. Ten-minutes cooking time seemed about right. It’s definitely a keeper for many holidays to come.
My dad makes two kinds of relish at thanksgiving—one is a relish just like this. If you only heat it for 10 minutes, the cranberries don’t usually pop, though they do soften. We’d put the relish in the food processor to give it a great texture compared to a smooth cranberry sauce. The orange is a great contrast to the tart cranberries.
This is a very simple and delicious relish. It’s much better the day or two after. Although it does work as written, moderate heat may mean different things to different cooks. I cooked my relish over medium heat until it started to bubble and then turned it down to medium-low to simmer and thicken. It took a little bit longer than 10 minutes but I finished it without being burned by a bursting cranberry.
A standard relish that comes together quickly. It was very flavorful and yes the cranberries do pop. I usually like to add some cloves and orange zest to mine; I didn’t do so here. This is a great basic recipe leaving you a lot of room to play around with spice mixtures. Also great to serve with a nice melted Brie and melba rounds.