Cranberry-Orange Relish

Makes 4 pints

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 8 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup rum or brandy (optional)
  1. Place four pint-sized canning jars in a water-bath canner or a large stockpot outfitted with a rack and fill pot with water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. (The jars need to be warm when you fill them.)
  2. Combine the sugar and water in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Tie the cinnamon sticks and cloves in a spice bag or square of cheesecloth and add it to the pot.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Boil the sugar syrup for five minutes. Add the cranberries and return to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened, about ten minutes.
  5. Add the orange zest, grated ginger — the Microplane Zester makes quick work of that too — and rum or brandy, if using. Simmer an additional five minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam that has accumulated and discard the spice bag. (Do not be concerned if the sauce appears to be liquid — cranberries are high in pectin and the sauce will gel when it cools.)
  7. Remove the first jar from the warm water and place a canning funnel in the mouth. Ladle the sauce into the jar leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top.
  8. Run a plastic knife around the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles and wipe the rim clean with a damp cloth. Repeat with the remaining jars.
  9. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. Return the jars to the water-bath canning pot and bring the water to a boil.
  10. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. Allow to cool in the water for five additional minutes before removing them.
  11. Check the seals on the lids and store in a dark cool place for up to one year.