Cranberry Orange Pear Relish

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Do you listen to the podcast Gastropod yet? If not, you should start! I watched them tape a live episode a while back and appreciate each of their researched, fact-filled episodes. It was through this podcast that I recently learned that “bogs are not wet” and that “cranberries don’t actually grow in water!” WHAT? I’ve been led astray for so many years.

Anyways, growing up in New England cranberries have always been a local favorite, particularly during the winter season.  They can be used in drinks, made into a tart, cooked down to a warm sauce or chutney, incorporated into a baked brie, or added on top of a salad.   In my family, we’ve always made this uncooked simple relish and served it throughout winter holiday season.

With heavy dishes filling the table (and your belly) this relish is a welcome and refreshing light addition to any plate. It has a nice hearty consistency and a tart bite.  This year we adapted it slightly to include orange liqueur and the zest of one orange which added to the overall orange flavor.

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  • 2 Navel oranges peeled and sectioned
  • 1 firm pear quartered and cored (anjou ideally)
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • Orange Zest from both oranges


Steps and Notes:

  1. Place 3/4 of the cranberries into the food processor. Grind to a fine chop. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Then, blend the remaining cranberries coarsely ensuring that some keep their original shape. Add these to the bowl.
  3. Place the oranges in the food processor and pulse 2-3 times until they are a similar shape to the large cranberries. Add these and the juice to the bowl.
  4. Do the same for the pears. Cut, process, add to the bowl.
  5. Then, add the sugar and liquor and mix well
  6. Let mixture sit refrigerated for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.


Thoughts for Net Time:

  • Substitute apricot brandy for the orange liquor
  • Optional – add 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • If you want less sugar, you can add an extra pear since they have natural sweetness

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  1. […] Then, on Saturday, we had our third feast which might be our best family Thanksgiving that we’ve collaboratively prepared without Mom.  Each dish was unique in its own way but filled with great flavors. I FINALLY made a stuffing that tasted like stuffing, and my husband made loaded mashed potatoes and a green bean casserole.  My brother made a turkey that he brined and then smoked for 10 hours. My sister-in-law made french onion soup and two pies – a maple butternut squash and an apple crumb topping.  My father made parker house dinner rolls which broke apart perfectly by hand, as well as the family classic — my mother’s cranberry pear relish. […]


  2. mistimaan · · Reply

    Loved your recipe 🙂


  3. Sounds like a great relish – especially for the holidays…and what a view you’ve got!! Beautiful 🙂 🙂


  4. Looks tasty, I like the cranberry-orange combination.. 🙂


  5. […] I’ve written about before, several times actually, I love podcasts! Recently a friend suggested I listen to ‘Happier” by Gretchen […]


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