My grandfather loved his cranberry jelly in a can; for me that stuff was the one part of Thanksgiving Dinner that was never touched. It wasn’t until I learned to make my own cranberry relish that I understood why this dish is traditional at all.
I call this version of “cranberry sauce” a relish because it has discernible chunks of fruit in it. With the addition of some caramelized onions and apricot jelly this could become a lovely cranberry chutney.
Makes 2 pints of cranberry relish.
1 pound fresh cranberries
2 medium oranges (preferably organic)
2 cups port
1/2 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp dried allspice
Carefully wash and pick over the cranberries, discarding any that are squishy. In a large sauce pan cook the cranberries in the port over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You’ll hear them pop as the skins burst.
Meanwhile, zest and juice the oranges, finely chopping the zest. When the cranberries have started to break down (5-7 minutes) add the zest, juice and other ingredients and stir well.
Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced and the pectin from the fruit is released. The mixture will take on a jam-like consistency after about half an hour. Taste for sweetness and seasoning, and adjust as necessary. Serve warm or at room-temperature with turkey.