Dad’s Holiday Cranberry Relish

My first cook book was a classic, The New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claiborne (Harper & Row, 1961). My ancient, rusty paperclip bookmarks tell the story of why I have kept it all these years. I use the book only a couple of times a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Clipped are Turkey, Stuffings, Mashed Potatoes with Variations, and Cooked Cranberry or Orange Relish.

We love it on the dinner table, but it’s even better as a condiment for turkey sandwiches. Lots more flavor than out-of-a-can.

Now a family must-have, Cranberry Relish uses cooked berries, not raw, and lots of sugar. Get over it. My family won’t let me play with this recipe. Having said that, I am going to be trying Keto-friendly versions to see if any sugar-substitutes have conquered the cool aftertaste issue. Suggestions?


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Cranberry Relish

based on the The New York Times Cookbook recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling off time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, orange, relish, Thanksgiving, turkey
Servings: 12
Calories: 164kcal
Author: dad


  • 1 lb cranberries Fresh! If you can only get a 12 oz bag, adjust all amounts accordingly.
  • 2 cups sugar This is always a hard step for me, having done my best to severely limit sugar intake, but, hey, it's Thanksgiving and for family. Right?
  • 2 tsp orange zest I zest a whole, large naval orange and use it all. Love that orangeness.
  • 1/2 cup orange juice I fresh-squeeze the orange I zest and make up the rest of 1 cup with water.
  • 1/2 cup water If needed.
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and slivered Any grocery should have these by the bag.


  • Rinse and drain the cranberries and place them in a medium pot over medium heat.
  • Add sugar, juice, zest, and water.
  • Stir well and often, cooking until all the cranberries have popped open. Lower the heat if thing seem too vigorous. Don't want to burn the berries.
  • Remove from heat and let the relish come to room temperature, stirring in the almonds while you wait.
  • Store the relish in a sealable container and refrigerate until needed. This relish is great at dinner and later on turkey sandwiches.


Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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