Cranberry Raisin Relish

Everyone needs a good, basic cranberry relish for the holiday table.  I make mine every single year to enjoy with our turkey and other sides, but I truly like to have it slathered onto a buttered biscuit, roll or piece of cornbread.  It's that mix of sweet and salty that truly makes a relish like this mouthwatering.  My version, however, doesn't contain a lot of sugar like most recipes.  I think it's nice to have a bit of the tart flavor from the cranberries with every bite.

The packages of fresh cranberries that one gets at the grocery store have cooking tips and recipes on the bags, which one can easily follow, but if you add a bit of something here and there, the relish takes on more depth and flavor.  From year to year I experiment with different dried fruits for added texture, but the two ingredients which never change are freshly grated orange zest and the cinnamon stick.  

If I travel to California for the holidays, I'm in charge of the relish (actually, they put me in charge of everything!).  People reach for this relish throughout our dinner and by the time we're done I can assure you that none is left.  It's that good!

As I write this entry, I've just finished this year's version and it's sitting on a cooling rack above the marble dough counter.  Since this keeps for quite a while, I love making it at least one to two days ahead of Thanksgiving.

Make yours tonight!  


  • 12 oz {340 g.} fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup {80 g.} golden raisins
  • zest of 1 orange 
  • 1/2 cup {120 ml.} freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup {120 ml.} pure maple syrup (grade B is good}
  • One 3" cinnamon stick
Yield: approximately 3 cups relish

In a large saucepan, add all of the ingredients and set over medium heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the cranberries begin to pop.  

After several minutes the mixture should thicken considerably and most of the cranberries should be split and broken down.  It's good to leave some whole for texture so don't overcook the relish.  Turn off the heat and remove it to a clean bowl to cool down to room temperature.  

When it has cooled wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator until your dinner is ready.  Cranberry Relish will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Bring it to your table in a compote or pretty bowl and set a spoon next to it so that people can help themselves.  

Simply Delicious


  1. I love cranberry sauce with all sorts of meat, and also I sometimes add a spoonful to red cabbage when I braise that - yummy if you have any left over!

  2. Red cabbage added to this would be marvelous. I think I may have to try that for my Christmas dinner. If I do, I'll be sure to blog about it.


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