I love cranberries! They are so uniquely tart, so complementary to other foods, and so easy to cook with. I’ve been making variations of cranberry relishes for years, and this one is the latest, inspired by a gift of satsuma oranges from a colleague. Those satsumas from his backyard tree were super-sweet and I knew they’d be wonderful partnering with cranberries, pineapple and some peppers for heat.
Cooking cranberries is also fun! I love the pop-pop-pop in the pan as they burst and release their tart flavors.
Spicy-Tart Cranberry-Orange-Pineapple Relish
Slightly sweet with just a hint of heat, this tart cranberry relish is the perfect complement to rich holiday food.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 bag)
- 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple, juice drained and reserved
- Orange or orange-pineapple juice up to 1 cup (will combine with the reserved pineapple juice to make a cup of juice)
- 3/8 cup white wine (substitute more juice if you prefer not to use liquor)
- 2 satsuma, mandarin or clementine oranges, or one larger orange, peeled and deseeded
- 1/4 cup finely diced peppers (I use a combination of jalapeño and serrano - use more serrano or hotter peppers if you want more heat)
- 1/2 cup honey
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- Step 1 Separate the peeled oranges into segments, and cut each segment in half.
- Step 2 Combine the reserved pineapple juice with the orange juice to measure 1 cup of juice.
- Step 3 Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Step 4 Remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate. The relish will thicken more as it fully cools.
This relish is terrific in the conventional ways: alongside turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, or as a condiment for that leftover turkey sandwich. But is is also very versatile – you can spread it atop goat cheese or cream cheese for the quickest appetizer ever, put a dollop on tiny cheesecakes to give them a spicy-tart twist, serve it on a cheese board instead of chutney or honey, mix 1/4 cup with 3 cups of shredded cheese and a little cream cheese to make a cheese ball, use it as a glaze for meatballs, even combine it with salsa for a fabulously interesting dip for chips.