Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Mom's Cranberry Relish





Last month, I had planned to make my pocket pies with cranberry pear filling and I wanted to use fresh cranberries.  Imagine my dismay when I realized that I was one whole month too early for the arrival of these beautiful red beauties at my local grocery store.  I put on my best pouty face, grabbed some dried cranberries, and made damn good pocket pies anyway.  (And might I add, these pies would be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table!) 


But now, Thanksgiving is finally upon us and the season for fresh cranberries is officially here.  For me, seeing these cranberries means it is really the holidays.  They smile at me with their bright crimson faces and give me the red light to fully immerse myself in Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations.  So prepare yourselves.  I might get a little crazy.


This is the best nutmeg grater ever.  It is the same one that my grandma uses, and she got me mine from Amish country in Ohio; this nutmeg grater from Norpro looks exactly the same (and is less than $5), and also has the small compartment on top for storing the nutmeg like mine does.  LOVE it.   


Seeing cranberries also makes me think of my mom.  No, she isn't small, red, and round, but she makes me happy too.  Mostly I think of my mom because I grew up eating her cranberry relish every year at Thanksgiving and I loved it.  Excuse me, saying I 'loved' it makes it sound past tense - I love it, as in I swoon over it each time I make it.  When I still lived at home, we would fight over it and eat it on/with everything, or just by itself.  It is cranberry greatness.



And really, the recipe couldn't be more simple.  In my book, the perfect way to worship cranberries is to marry them with a heady mix of spices and just the right amount of sugar; not too much sweetness as to disguise the cranberry, but just enough to dull the sharp tart taste.  One of my other favorite components of this recipe are the big golden raisins and the crunch of the chopped pecans.  I like my applesauce chunky, and my cranberry relish even chunkier; it lets me know there are real ingredients in there and it is not over-processed.  If you like your relish smooth, I would normally just tell you to go ahead and throw in a blender or food processor, but frankly, that is blasphemy in my eyes so we will just pretend I didn't even mention it. 



Instead, I will just leave you with this lovely, crimson, traditional Thanksgiving recipe, and tell you that I hope you love it as much as I do.  And you can thank my mom for the recipe, I make sure to thank her each year when I make it myself.     







My Mom's Cranberry Relish


3/4 cup apple juice
1/2-3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
3 cups fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
1/2-3/4 cup light or golden raisins
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans






Combine the first four ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cranberries, raisins and cloves, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat.  Cook until the cranberries pop, then add pecans and stir to mix.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.  Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week. 

42 comments:

  1. Your photos are really beautiful!

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  2. Hi Amanda
    thank you so much for sharing your mom's recipe with us!! It looks like the perfect accompaniement for our Thanksgiving meal!
    the nuts are a perfect addition, I love a little crunch too!
    Dennis

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  3. Very nice cranberry relish, looks so good, perfect recipe for the up and coming weekend.

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  4. This is so similar to the recipe my mom made too! It's funny how powerful the memories can be attached to certain foods. GREG

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  5. I love it! Like you, I was fortunate to have a mom who made the real-deal cranberry relish (none of the canned jello-y stuff!). My mom's recipe is similar to this one, but she uses orange juice instead of apple juice, and she adds mandarain oranges and chopped apples into the mix.

    Happy early Thanksgiving :)

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  6. delicious flavourful colourful relish

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  7. This looks amazing. And is that a hand written recipe card from your mom? How adorable! I need to get one of those nutmeg graters... I love how there is a little compartment for the nutmeg.

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  8. Would you believe I'm the only one in my family who cares for cranberry relish? Each year I contemplate leaving it out and each year I decide I can't stand that idea. So I make a simple one, also full of spices for I agree with you completely that it's what makes cranberries shine.

    Love your mom's recipe and I'm seriously thinking of borrowing it. Thanks for sharing, Amanda. With all the spices in there, I know I'll love it and it just might convert my family!

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  9. Your relish looks so beautiful. Mothers' and grandmothers' recipes are always the best, aren't they?

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  10. It looks like precious jewels in that pretty container, too. Homemade cranberry sauce just puts the jarred stuff to shame. ;)

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  11. Amanda,

    This looks delicious! I love the addition of raisins. Yum! I love cranberries so much that I always clean my local store out and freeze them so I can enjoy the fresh ones all year.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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  12. raisins are blasphemy! i don't usually eat cranberry "sauce" but this looks really great. i think it's the chunkiness that does it for me.

    and why do you have such cute containers?

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  13. Das schmeckt! Keine Frage, super!

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  14. I agree with Baking Barrister. Really cute jar! This looks scrumptious!

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  15. Baking and Casey: Haha, everyone always loves that little glass jar! I actually picked it up at a thrift store for less than $2, such a find. :)

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  16. I have been looking for a cranberry pecan recipe on Tastespotting for a while now and am so glad I saw yours today! I like that there's not too much sugar in this recipe, either. This will be perfect for Thursday's big meal. :)

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  17. Oh how gorgeous the color is, I also want to steal all of your food gear!

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  18. Hey Amanda! Mom's just make everything so memorable and special. I hope someday my kids feel the same way! I love the photo of the old index recipe card. I have a few of those from my mom--priceless! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  19. I love your pictures! This recipe looks great...I think I have to make this for our Thanksgiving meal. We usually eat the canned stuff...gross, I know!

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  20. How beautiful! I love the jar and the recipe card. Your relish looks perfect for Thursday.

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  21. Mmmm, cranberry relish is a favorite of mine! Great recipe! So simple :)

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  22. Cranberry relish is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. This sounds like a great recipe. I love the combination of spices and the addition of golden raisins. Simple and delicious!

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  23. I love the cute little card that the recipe is written on...hand-me-down recipes are the best! This looks like a beautiful addition to a holiday meal!

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  24. Honestly cranberry relish is one of those things that MAKES the holidays for me. Its always been my granmother's simple recipe at my house & had to be in a certain crystal dish.

    However this recipe looks divine! Might have to try it out. Maybe it will be my non-holiday one so I can have both! :)

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  25. This looks great! I love traditional recipes that have been handed down. Your pictures are fantastic.

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  26. Hey! Guess what? You gave me this recipe a couple of years ago and I was planning on making it this year again! Good thing you are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner this year :) I was going to sub in some dried cherries for the raisins since John loves his mom's recipe with cherries. I hope it is a good combo!

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  27. Love. It. All!


    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  28. Sooo beautiful! And I love your nutmeg grater.
    And your relish jar. And your red sugar canister... hehe

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  29. Wow, this was such an amazing blog to come across. Only the other day I was thinking of nutmeg graters and if they existed for a cheap price! :D

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