When it comes to cranberries, I never buy them out of the can. Making cranberry relish is super easy; it tastes much better than canned cranberries. Fresh cranberries allow you to taste the complexity of cranberries and experience their tart flavor.
I also love that you can get creative with the flavors and add whatever you want. I like to add orange zest and freshly grated ginger to give it a sweet but spicy flavor. You can also add cinnamon and apple juice to make it more holiday-like. This cranberry relish is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, and it is delicious when served with herbed butter turkey, pork chops, or chicken.
When buying cranberries, try to find packages with firm, plump, and red cranberries. They can sometimes be discolored or mushy, so it is important to go through them diligently. You can just discard any cranberries that do not look as fresh. If all the cranberries did not burst yet, you could also use a potato masher to burst them. This makes the sauce smoother. You can skip this step if you prefer a more textured cranberry sauce.
What Can I Add to The Cranberry Relish?
You can add whatever you want to cranberry sauce! Everyone adds slightly different ingredients. I used ¾ cup of brown sugar and regular sugar to make 2 lbs. of cranberries. I love to make it super sweet, but if you aren’t a fan of sweet things, add less sugar. You can also use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. I also add slices of dried apricot to add more taste and texture.
Can I Make the Sauce Ahead of Time?
Yes, Thanksgiving is incredibly busy, so it is best to have a few easy dishes that can be made ahead of time. This fresh cranberry relish is the perfect sauce to make ahead. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days and then stored in the refrigerator. You can also make the sauce earlier and freeze the cranberry sauce until you are ready to eat it. Just let the sauce come to room temperature before putting it away in the fridge!