Raw Cranberry Relish

Published by emilyatspecklefarm on

This raw cranberry relish is sweetened to taste. The whole lemons, limes and oranges mellow raw cranberry relishand sweeten as they soak up the sugar but keep the relish bright. Raw cranberry relish is simple, great to make ahead and gets better with age. Make a batch of raw cranberry relish for Thanksgiving and save some to eat at Christmas too.



Certain things make it the holidays for me. Snow and wood smoke, are big. Citrus,           pumpkins, squash, Christmas music, sugar cookies and mincemeat cookies, pumpkin rolls and Brussels sprouts. But, I know the season is really beginning when its time to make cranberry relish.

raw cranberry relish       

Raw Cranberry Relish

5 bags –or 17 ½ cups fresh whole cranberries
10 oranges – unpeeled, quartered and seeded
5 lemons – unpeeled, quartered, and seeded
5 limes – unpeeled, quartered, and seeded
sugar to taste ( I go for 7 cups of sugar)

base recipe ( small batch)

1 bag or 3 ½ cups whole fresh cranberries
2 oranges- unpeeled, quartered and seeded
1 lemon- unpeeled, quartered and seeded
1 lime- unpeeled, quartered and seeded
1 1/3 cup sugar

Prep Your Fruitraw cranberry relish

Rinse your cranberries and let them drain.
Vigorously scrub your citrus with dish soap or    vegetable soap. Really put your back into it.

Maybe it’s just me, but at the store it seems like everybody and their kid has to touch the citrus. You will be grinding whole fruit up for this raw           cranberry relish so you want squeaky clean skin. If you can manage it, it would be best to make this recipe with organic citrus and cranberries. I can find organic citrus here but not cranberries. Do the best you can and don’t sweat it.

raw cranberry relishIf there are stem pieces attached to any of the fruit pop them off. Just ’cause this is a raw cranberry relish doesn’t mean it needs to have wood chips in it. Just sayin’.

Quarter the citrus and remove the seeds.


Grind Your Fruit

raw cranberry relish

I prefer a fine grind for raw cranberry relish because it helps mix the flavors and allows the sugar to really soak into the fruit.

I use an old school hand grinder ( like THIS) to make my cranberry relish but you could use an electric grinder or a food processor. You could probably use a blender if you could manage to not liquefy everything. I know I couldn’t pull it off.

raw cranberry relish

If you use a grinder make sure to put a bowl under it to catch the juice you’ll make. The cranberry relish won’t be the same without it! Just a kind suggestion, make sure the whole grinder is clean. Because the juice is going to run down it and you aren’t going to want to put that juice in your relish if it just dripped over a scuzzy clamp that hasn’t seen water in three years.

Sweeten, Stir and Wait

Once you grind your fruit mix it well and taste it, before you add any sugar. This way you’ll know the base sweetness of the relish. Keep adding sugar, mixing and tasting until you’re satisfied.

raw cranberry relish

It’s best to make this a week or so ahead. Of course, I procrastinated so this year ours will only have three days to age before thanksgiving. As it ages the fruit really soaks up the sugar and let their flavors mingle. This batch will be eaten at Thanksgiving and a few times between then and Christmas. At Christmas it will hit its peak. Sometimes there’s even a little left for new years. This relish won’t go bad easily because it’s very acidic and has added sugar. Instead it just ages and mellows and becomes more delicious, until you’ve eaten it all.
This is a simple, fun recipe. Go ahead and play with the fruit. Maybe add ginger, or pomegranate seeds even. Have fun! Get the kids to crank the grinder and don’t stop them when then want to taste everything. You’ll get a few priceless faces out of it, trust me. I have fond memories of making raw cranberry relish with my grandma, I would love to share the experience with your family.

raw cranberry relish


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