Back when I was a twenty-something college student, I usually found myself away from my family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Luckily, a dear family whom I knew from childhood lived nearby and were kind enough to let me join their table a few years in a row. Their daughter Kim and I are just four days apart. Aside from my memories of having fun with Kim (going to Dracula the movie, eating cherry cordials, talking about boys, and buying McDonald’s cheeseburgers to tide us over until the main meal), I remember this wonderfully fresh cranberry dish that Sister Despain would make. After tasting her Cranberry Pecan Relish, I knew I’d never again enjoy the shaped-like-its-can cranberry sauce with which I was familiar.
As you prepare your holiday menus, here is a little delight you may choose to add.
- 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 orange
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1. In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
- 2. Allow the berry mixture to cool.
- 3. Peel the orange and chop the flesh. (You may choose to add a little orange zest to your mixture.)
- 4. Add the chopped orange and the pecans to the cooled berry mixture.
- 5. Pulse the mixture in a food processor or blender to reach desired consistency. (For me, it was less than two seconds to achieve the slightly chunky texture I prefer.)
- 6. For best flavor, chill for several hours, or overnight, before serving.