Cranberry Relish

I have to tell you, when I was younger I hated cranberries and really disliked my mom’s relish. As much as I enjoyed being in the kitchen and helping her, I couldn’t get over the “sourness” of the berries.

Now, as I’m older and wiser, I love homemade cranberry relish. It’s sweet. It’s tart. It’s colorful. It’s lovely. It’s perfect.

This Saturday, my book club is having its Christmas potluck and cookie exchange, in addition to our monthly book discussion. I’m taking this relish for our lunch and several dozen Orange Zest Glazed Cookies for the cookie exchange. It’s going to be a dee-lish day!

For the cranberry relish, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:

The ingredient list is very simple.

  • 2 12oz packages of whole cranberries, rinsed (about 6 cups)

  • 2 large oranges

  • 2 large apples

  • 1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

Remove any sticker labels from the fruit and rinse well with cold water.

Cut the apple into wedges (discard the core) and quarter the orange and remove any seeds. I also removed the white rind inside the orange. You don’t have to do this, it’s just my personal preferance.

Notice ……. I did not peel the apple or oranges. There’s ton of flavor in the apple skin and one of my favorite things in life is orange zest.


In a food processor, add a few chunks of apple, orange sections, half-cup of cranberries, and sugar. Process for 10-20 seconds then scrape the bowl and process another 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large container and repeat.

Because I like a chunkier, crunchy consistency, I don’t over-process the mixture. Make this relish your own. If you want to have puree’d relish, process until smooth. Personally, I like finding a chunk of fruit. It’s like a surprise gift. Gifts make me smile. Chunky or smooth, I still love ya.

Make sure you have a tasting spoon handy while you’re making this relish. And a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add sugar to your own taste. Using two bags of cranberries, I use one cup of sugar. The apples and oranges provide some sweetness. After the flavors get friendly in the fridge, taste it again. You can always add more sugar, but remember it’s supposed to be a tart relish. We’re not making jelly!

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight. I think the relish tastes best two or three days after its made ….. which is why I made it today (Thursday) and will serve it Saturday. I have no idea how long leftovers will keep because I’ve never been in that situation. I promise ~ pinky swear ~ that I will keep my fat little fingers out of the cranberry relish between now and lunchtime on Saturday. Promise.


Do you see the little bits of orange and chunks of apple?

It makes me so happy.


I appreciate all comments and read every single one. (To avoid the spam garbage, I approve them.) Go ahead, share your thoughts - it makes me smile when you do that!

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