There are three fruits that are rooted to American soil, the Concord grape, the blueberry and the cranberry. Or as the Pilgrims called it - the crane berry - as the little blossoms that appeared on the vines in the spring time looked like the head and bill of a Sand hill Crane.
On the Thanksgiving holiday table in America you will undoubtedly see a bowl of cranberry sauce sitting by the turkey. Many variations of this sweet and tart side dish have been created in probably almost every kitchen in the country at one time or another, so why not make a new one today!
Cranberry farms spread over 44,000 acres across the United States with 14,000 of them in the New England state of Massachusetts. Cranberries are a great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and they can prevent some cancers. They are a tart fruit that are rich in vitamins C, K and E, dietary fiber and manganese.
My original cranberry relish becomes a vitamin C powerhouse by adding blueberries and oranges. This freezes for up to 3 months very well. Don't just make this once a year, make it all year long to get the fantastic preventative health benefits from this wonderful fruit.
As always, check out my Cooks notes and Tips at the end of the recipe for more ways to add cranberries to your diet.
2 - 12 oz. packs of Cape Cod fresh cranberries, (or Ocean Spray), rinsed
2 - 4 oz. packs blueberries, rinsed
Zest of 1 large Navel orange, skin washed
Orange segments from 1 large Navel orange, (or 1 large can of mandarin oranges, drained)
1 - 2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbp. cornstarch dissolved in a little water
1. First, segment the orange and cut into approximately 1/2" pieces and set aside. If you don't want to segment an orange, then use the canned mandarin oranges but add them in the last stages of cooking.
2. In a medium saucepan add the cranberries, sugar and enough water to cover the cranberries. PLEASE NOTE: If you want a thicker texture like a jam, then add less water. Cranberries float, so submerge the berries with your hand in the pan when adding the cold water.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring often and then cover with a lid and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes and then add the blueberries, cover stirring occasionally for another 30 minutes. Remove the lid and let the relish cook down until your desired consistency
soupy or thick!
4. Next, adjust the heat to medium-high and then add the cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the cranberry relish cool a little. Taste! If the sauce is too tart, you may add more sugar at this point and return to the heat and cook on medium-low for a couple of minutes to dissolve the sugar.
Refrigerate when cool. Serve on your thanksgiving table in a pretty bowl with some finely shaved orange zest as garnish. Totally fantastic!
Cooks Notes and Tips
As this cranberry relish recipe can be cooked down almost like a jam, it is so yummy on a piece of toasted bread or muffin for breakfast after it is refrigerated.
You can also mix this into your oatmeal to keep you going all day. When fresh cranberries are out of season, the dried version can be found all year long. Add these to your salads and cereals often for a great immune boosting healthy kick!