Having canning withdrawal this winter? Make some cranberry orange relish to eat all year long.
Do you have the odd bag or two of cranberries taking up space in your freezer? I certainly do. Seems like every time I visit the grocery store during the month of November, I purchase a few bags of fresh tart cranberries. Some of them go into homemade sauce for Thanksgiving dinner, but the rest just end up in the freezer. They certainly can hang out there until next Thanksgiving, but they will be better if not left too long. That’s why I often make cranberry orange relish this time of year. Canning the cranberries keeps them in a more usable form, ready to eat right now.
Cranberries Aren’t Just For Thanksgiving
If you have never eaten cranberries except over the holidays, you should try cranberry orange relish. It’s a great way to perk up a meal, especially during these late winter days when the grocery store produce is starting to look pretty sad. Cranberry orange relish adds something special to pork chops, pot roast, baked chicken, a baked bean meal, or served alongside a one-dish casserole.
Get Your Winter Canning Fix
Let’s face it, there just aren’t that many canning projects for winter. It’s a good time to make spiced apple rings, and maybe applesauce, but not much else. So if you are itching to can something, it makes sense to clean out the freezer and make some cranberry orange relish.
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 1½ bags)
- 1 large navel orange
- ½ cup water
- ½ - 1 cup sugar
- Wash orange. Cut unpeeled orange into 6-8 pieces, removing seeds.
- Place the cranberries in a food processor. Process until evenly chopped. Spoon into a large saucepan.
- Place the orange pieces in a food processor. Process until evenly chopped. Add to the cranberries.
- Add water and sugar - less sugar if you like a tart relish, more if you prefer it sweeter.
- Simmer over medium heat until cranberries are hot and soft, 5-10 minutes.
- Ladle into clean half-pint canning jars.
- Relish may be frozen. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a month.
I originally recommended water bath canning the relish. However, it responds best to freezing. Therefore, I now advise against canning this relish due to its low sugar content. Over time the canned product also loses its color, but the frozen product remains bright and fresh.