Tuesday, November 20

Holiday Throwback Recipes: Cranberry Relish

We've got a pretty solid collection of community cookbooks here in the office—and many more in our staffers' home libraries. And the holidays seem like the right time to whip them out and share some choice recipes with you, our readers. So fix yourself an eggnog, pull up a seat, and check back often between now and New Year's for our Holiday Throwback Recipes.

Today's Cookbook
The NEW Lovin' Spoonfuls
By John and Ann Egerton and family
published in 1980; 1982; 1984; 2009

Yesterday we introduced you to the Egerton family cookbook and gave you John Egerton's grandmother's cornbread dressing recipe. Which means that today, it's time to clue you in on the Egertons' cranberry relish, a recipe they've been using for half a century.

Cranberry Relish  (from the 1980 Lovin' Spoonfuls; revisited in 2009)

In the November 1961 issue of Farm Journal, there appeared a recipe for cranberry relish that since has become a staple of our holiday diet. It's disarmingly simple, and we've barely modified it over the years. This is precisely how I made 1/2 gallon in November 2009—almost enough for Thanksgiving and Christmas too: I cut up 3 thin-skinned oranges (everything but the seeds) from Liz Williams's backyard Valencia tree in New Orleans; did the same with two crisp Arkansas Black apples; coarsely chopped 3 lbs of fresh Massachusetts cranberries in the food processor; mixed these fruits by hand in a large bowl; and added to the mixture 1 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice, 1 cup of refined sugar and 2 cup of unrefined raw sugar (all from Florida). You can use more or less sugar to suit your taste. Stirred well, this batch was sweet-tartly delicious at first bite—a sure sign it will age and ripen to perfection until it's all gone. It keeps exceptionally well in the refrigerator, or can be frozen.

[Years ago, we used an old-fashioned metal food grinder to process the fruit, and it left a juicy mess. We now prefer to cut up the oranges and apples by hand and give the cranberries a few quick whirls in the food processor. However you do it, the recipe never fails, and we never tire of it.]