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No-cook cranberry relish - family holiday tradition


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 03:57 PM

My wonderful maternal grandfather, Dr. Farris F. Moore, who passed in 2011 a few weeks shy of 102, had a long-standing holiday tradition of making this no-cook cranberry relish to give to all his friends and relatives. He'd been doing it for decades before I was born. And, honestly, it has ruined me for any other kind of cranberry relish; I haven't bought a can of any other kind in many years unless it was to use as a recipe ingredient.
 
There are dozens of no-cook cranberry relish recipes that be found via search but I've not located one that is exactly the same as this one. It's simply the best I've ever tasted, with the best texture, though because cranberries vary in tartness one has to get the amount of sugar just right.
 
I believe this recipe could be as much as several hundred years old, though it probably depends on when oranges and lemons became avavailable in the US. My grandfather grew up in pretty poor circumstances, as he didn't get electric power until the late '30s and indoor water (not indoor plumbing!) until the early '40s, and this was the kind of recipes country cooks cherished.

To make this recipe you need an old-fashioned meat grinder, like this:
 
grinder.jpg
 
This is exactly the antique style grinder I use, found at a garage sale for $5. Newer, slightly different versions are available to this day. My Google search indicates they're available online from Macy's, JCPenny, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, and even Office Depot!

I suppose the relish could be made in a food processor with the proper blade, but I've never tried that. The feed screw of the meat grinder tends to crush the fruit, extracting the juices and generating the proper texture in the pulp and peels. I don't know how one would duplicate that in a preocessor.
 
This type of meat grinder has no seals and the fruit juices leak out profusely. You must set up trays to catch both the ground fruit and the juices that leak out of the back of the grinder, or you're going to make a big mess as well as not be able to complete the recipe instructions.
 
Moore’s Cranberry Relish
 
1 lb. cranberries (rarely found in other than 12 oz packages today)
2 medium oranges
4 large, tart red apples (Winesap, if possible)
½ lemon
3½ cups sugar
 
Pick through and wash cranberries. Quarter oranges and remove seeds. Slice apples and remove cores, leaving peel on. Slice lemon and remove seeds. Leave peel on both lemon and oranges.
 
Grind all fruit using the fine blade of a meat grinder/food chopper, collecting and adding any juices back into the mixture. Add 2-2½ cups of sugar and stir well together. Let stand outside of refrigerator overnight. Test for sweetness; add more sugar if necessary and mix well. Place in glass jars then refrigerate. Keeps well for several days, but when it starts tasting a little fizzy, it's going bad. With no preservatives, it won't last for weeks and weeks.

Gregory Wells

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#2 Cheater

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:14 AM

Scanned a number of recipe cards written in my Grandfather's hand to share with family members.

Just for jollies, here's the one for the cranberry relish given above.

cranberry.relish.jpg

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap






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