Cranberry Cherry Relish


Since we are having a slow food Thanksgiving I’m starting now and one of the earliest things you can make is the cranberry relish.

I’ve been making this for years and was delighted to see a cranberry booth at the UW farmers market a few weeks back. Mt. Rainier Cranberries are grown in Eatonville, and while they are not organic they explained to me that there are no organic cranberry farms around here. They said they had tried to go organic a few years back and ended up losing four out of seven acres to pests.

So I’ll be happy that they are local and eat them sparingly. That’s difficult because this relish is tasty. Last summer I had bought ten pounds of sour cherries from One Storey Farm then pitted and dried them. We’ve been using them in baked goods and they are perfect in this relish as well.

To make the relish I cooked the cranberries and dried cherries in a small amount of water until the cranberries began to open. At that point I added enough organic sugar to make it palatable. They cooked gently for about 20 minutes in total and when they were done I gave them a good splash of rum.

There isn’t really a recipe because it depends on how many cranberries you use and your preference for sweetness. I prefer this slightly tart but not so tart you end up making faces. How do you like your cranberry sauce?

6 Responses to Cranberry Cherry Relish

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

  2. I purchased my Thanksgiving cranberries and they came from that same source. My young cranberry plants are too young to produce yet and my older cranberries did not produce anything this year (nothing – and neither did my huckleberries for some reason?) – so I purchased what I needed. I make a very simple cranberry sauce… 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, to 2 cups of fresh cranberries. Cook until the berries crack and the sauce thickens.

  3. I don’t normally chime in, but I read and enjoy your blog very much!

    I make cranberry relish using
    cranberries, water, enough sugar to make it pleasantly tart but still a bit sweet, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and juice from one orange. You can add the sugar a little at a time til its as sweet as you like.

    Combine everything and simmer til thick. Cool and then serve in a pretty crystal dish.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Hi KFG – I’ve been meaning to ask about your cranberry bushes since I put in 4 of those same ones. One died this fall or summer and no noticeable berries on those or the lingon berry plants that I had transplanted in spring. My huckleberries did not either. I put them in last year and toddler kept yanking them out of the ground but this spring I re-homed them and they stayed put. Maybe it was just a bust year for berries? The blackberries were even so different – tiny and intense, not numerous or bumblingly large as usual.

    Hi Sylvia – thanks for commenting! Your addition of orange zest and spices sounds divine. I’m wondering if I plant a red dragon (sort of lemonish) then I can give up on my indoor meyer lemon and get an orange tree in it’s place. I already have a Yuzu outside which is limish, red dragon would be lemonish which would make room for something orange. If only we had the climate of mid California here!

  5. I did not expect to get anything from the plants I put in this spring. But was surprised not to get anything from the older plants. Like blueberries, cranberries takes a few years for the plants to establish themselves. Usually nothing in the first year, with increasing harvests in subsequent years until they hit their full maturity level. However, my older plants should have done at least a light harvest – but absolutely nothing. My blueberries, strawberries, and the new raspberries produced nicely – but the cranberries and the evergreen huckleberries were nada. Not sure what happened with them. Plants look healthy so hopefully next year they will give me a bumper crop.

  6. Pingback: Dropstone Farms » Dark Days: Thanksgiving dinner

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