I have always favored whole cranberry relishes. How about you? Do you prefer the whole berry relishes or do you prefer the cranberry jelly log? I remember as a kid having each. First, I remember the log but as I got older, my memories are of the whole berry kind. The flavors of cranberry relish are sweet and tart. My recipe for Thanksgiving Whole Cranberry Relish is sweet, a little spicy and extra tart from the addition of some orange rind.
Before I started this food blog journey, I can only remember being served the store bought jelly log kind. I am sure that memory is not accurate. I probably did not focus on what went into to putting each side dish on the table. As with so many recipes, they are not all that hard to make. And making the recipe from scratch is so worth it. A Thanksgiving Whole Cranberry Relish is definitely worth tackling and comes together easily and quickly. The one thing you have to remember is to keep the lid on the pot while the cranberries are cooking. I did not do such a good job last year but I certainly remembered to do so this year. When the cranberries get heated up, they burst. If your lid is not on, they will make your whole stovetop surface a deep red. It is no fun to clean up.
The hardest thing about the recipe is finding fresh cranberries. I made this dinner nearly 2 months ago. Very few grocery stores had stocked their shelves with fresh cranberries. It really makes one appreciate how seasonal certain items are, and how, grocery stores really do rotate their shelves with products that consumers will be eating at that time of year. So this recipe started with frozen cranberries because I had too.
The cast of characters in the pot prior to cooking.
The whole cranberries cooking down and near the end of the cooking process.
The Thanksgiving Whole Cranberry Relish plated.
- 12 ounces, frozen Cranberries
- 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
- 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- Place the cranberries in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Mix well.
- Turn on the heat to a medium heat level.
- Be sure to put the lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir every few minutes to make sure the cranberries do not stick to the bottom.
- Remove the cranberries from the stovetop – check to see if all the cranberries have all popped. If not, cook for a few more minutes.
- The sauce will be very loose.
- But as it cools, the sauce will thicken up significantly.
- After the sauce has cooled completely, you can add water a little bit at a time if you want to thin out the texture.
- Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or slightly chilled. Enjoy!
- This time of year you can certainly find fresh cranberries.