Recipe: Cranberry Relish with Port and Orange

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Recipe by Kathleen Flinn

Forget the stuff in the can. Most of the commercially available cranberry relishes are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. If you can measure and stir, you can make your own in less than 15 minutes. There’s even an easy recipe on the back of the bag of most brands that calls for a simple mix of sugar, water and cranberries. This is a great make-ahead dish for the holidays. Crystallized ginger is often available in bulk at grocery stores – the amount needed here will cost about 15 cents. If you can’t find it in bulk, you don’t need to buy a big jar of it. As an alternative, you an add the same amount of grated fresh gingerroot instead.

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup tawny port or red wine
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon finely chopped crystalized ginger (optional)

What you do
Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir continuously as the sugar breaks down to coat the cranberries. Cook over medium heat until the berries burst, pop and break down into the sauce until they coat the back of a spoon, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate. Will keep in an air-tight container for up to a month.

Where this recipe came from
My mother used to make a relish like this one based on a classic one printed on the package for cranberries. Over time, my sister and I started to experiment, first by cutting down the sugar and later adding in the port or wine.

Who wrote this recipe
Kathleen Flinn
is the author of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and the creator of

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. Fearless Thanksgiving: Shopping Daze | says:

    […] it’s so easy to make cranberry relish and it can be done ages ahead of the meal, so why not? Here’s my recipe. But lightning will not strike if you buy the can and slice it […]

  2. […] other ingredients. Pour into the pan, stir with the cranberries and simmer for about 20 minutes. (See my recipe here on CookFearless.)Active time:  4 minutesTotal time:  20 minutesCost per serving: 41 cents Ingredients: […]

  3. […] Cranberry Relish with Orange and Port […]

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