Holiday Cranberry Relish

This is a simple recipe for an alternative to the usual canned or cooked cranberry sauce that our family much prefers. It requires no cooking, though you do need a food processor. (A blender would work in a pinch.) The sweet-tart, refreshing flavor of fresh fruit, sugar and spices makes a great compiment and contrast to traditional Thanksgiving roasts, potatoes and gravy. We also serve it at Christmas. Tart apples work best, Granny Smith is fine, I’m using Winesap. Navel oranges, which are seedless, are a good choice. Seeded oranges must have the seeds removed before processing. This makes about a quart of relish, you can cut it in half if that’s too much. Can be eaten at once, though I like it after it’s been refrigerated a day or two, allowing the flavors to blend.


Two 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries
One orange, not peeled
Two apples, not peeled
1.5 cups sugar (more if needed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Quarter the apples and remove stems and seeds. Cut the quarters again. Cut the orange the same way. Chop thoroughly in food processor in batches, mixing some cranberries, apples and oranges in each batch.

Collect chopped fruit in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. The balance of sweet and tart varies some depending on the size of the apples and orange. Add more sugar to increase the sweetness if needed. (I added another quarter cup this time.)

Will last at least two weeks in the refrigerator without losing flavor.

7 thoughts on “Holiday Cranberry Relish

  1. Royce

    This is actually really interesting – I found it off of Neil Gaiman’s blog, and I think we’ll make this for Christmas. I had no idea this was so simple to make! I hope it’s yummy, and I’m sure it’ll be gone in about a day. Cranberry salad is one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats, and I hope to get the recipe from my grandmother! Thanks so much for sharing this! Much love from Royce

  2. Bev

    Do you really put the apples and oranges into the food processor unpeeled? Also, could I just chop everything very finely, since I don’t have a food processor?

  3. Todd Post author

    Yes, you really do. You can try chopping everything by hand, it would probably work fine, though cranberries are tough to chop in my experience. Oh, and you’ll lose a lot of the juice unless you can chop on a plastic tray or something like that.

  4. Laura

    This recipe is fantastic! I would, however, like to pass on that I used Fuji apples–which are much sweeter than Granny Smith apples–and I only needed 3/4 cups of sugar.

  5. Pingback: Todd’s Blog » Blog Archive » My favorite holiday recipe

  6. susan

    my friend just made this yesterday and gave me some. It is delish! And so easy to make! my new favorite thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.