Incredibly Easy Homemade Citrus Spice Cranberry Relish

Hey friends! is it possible that this Thursday is Thanksgiving already? how? Just mind melting to us how fast time flies when you are doing too many things at once. 

Aaron and I will be cooking 95% of the Thanksgiving meal this year, and we are very excited about it. We love cooking, and since we're always so busy at the holidays we feel like we miss out on some of the traditional we think that cooking Thanksgiving dinner will set our feet firmly in the spirit of the holiday.We will be in high gear tomorrow and the next day prepping for all the cooking while packing up orders and cutting out ornaments, etc... How early do you guys start cooking? Growing up, I remember waking up at 8 am on Thanksgiving to the smell of my mom's homemade cranberry sauce. There is nothing like it! My family never used the canned stuff. I can remember one of my little brothers visiting his friends and coming home and telling my mom all about the cranberry sauce he had seen that was "shaped like the inside of the can...and you can cut slices of it!" And then as kids will be til eternity, he begged my mom to buy the canned cranberry sauce! ha! A mom's greatest kitchen efforts will never beat out the lure of novelty.

The fragrance this recipe produces is sweet, and spicy, and bright. This is more of a relish, or compote even. It is incredible on sandwiches, and honestly would work wonderfully baked with brie cheese in pastry! Aaron says he could eat a bowl of it. 

We doubled this recipe, so that we would have plenty to go around and for left overs. It takes less than 30 mins, and there isn't a candle in the world that will make your home smell even half as festive and delicious! 

Here is what you will need:

1 - 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons corn starch
4 teaspoons water
3 heaping tablespoons crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine your cranberries, orange juice, sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. Cook, stirring occasionally. After a time your cranberries will begin to "pop". You might even hear some of them pop open.

 Continue cooking until all are popped, about 10 mins. You'll know when they're all popped just by scooping up a spoonful. The cranberries will not look like berries anymore...just popped open skins. And your whole pot may get all pink and frothy.

Now, in a small bowl combine your cornstarch and water. Then stir with a fork till smooth.

Stir the cornstarch mixture in and lower your heat to a simmer. 

Stir in your pineapple, and spices, And then remove from heat. Let cool to room temp and serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

It's that easy! And geez does it smell and taste amazing! Look how bright and cheerful that bowl is. Aaron ate a heaping spoonful right after this pic was taken.

We hope you'll give it a try! It also makes a fantastic gift. Fill up a little ball jar, make some cute tags.

And this is the perfect thing to make if you're not the most confident cook but you'd still like to contribute something to the meal...even if the family has already got their own cranberry sauce...this can be an additional sauce...your little added flavor to the meal. And think about it...its only a condiment...totally pressure free.

Thanks for popping in! We'd love to hear about your favorite holiday recipes! 

Happy Thanksgiving friends!
xo Jenny & Aaron


  1. Yum, added pineapple to the recipe sounds so good. Pin worthy!!! Happy Thanksgiving, Julie

  2. Oh my gosh this makes me so hungry! Now I can't wait for Thanksgiving. My mom always makes a cranberry relish like this and it's way better than the canned stuff. Just Saying..

    I'll have to bookmark this, thanks for getting me into the holiday spirit love!


  3. Oh my goodness! This sounds SO good! I love whole berry relish. I could eat it with a spoon! I'm pinning this.

  4. Have you tried adding cloves? And do you know how long it would last if put in mason jars and kept cool?

    1. We haven't tried cloves but I'm sure a pinch would be great. And we've been able to keep ours for two to three weeks in a glass container in the fridge. We've usually used it all up by then so I'm not sure how long it lasts after that. Thanks so much! Hope you love it!

  5. One more question, how big was the bag of cranberries? The bags I found here look pretty small!


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xo Jenny & Aaron

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