Best ever cranberry relish
I spent Thanksgiving in Los Angeles this year. It was lovely: the people, the food, the weather. The weather! A bit cooler than usual, Southern California's sunny skies were still a nice change from the truly cold temperatures back home. I helped with the food, but I simply followed someone else's recipes. Everything was good, but one thing was missing — Jasper White's Cranberry Relish.
Cranberry sauce made an appearance on the Thanksgiving table and it was very,very good, but it lacked the caramelized sugar, fresh ginger and white pepper that make Jasper White's zesty version my hands down favorite. It's graced my own Thanksgiving table annually since I first discovered the recipe in White's outstanding book, Cooking From New England (out of print, but worth searching for).
When I landed at RDU, my mind turned immediately to the bags of cranberries I'd purchased before the holiday and stashed in the freezer. Happily I had all of the necessary ingredients in the fridge and pantry, so pulling it together took just a few minutes. This relish is good enough to eat straight out of the pan, but I saved most of it for turkey-cranberry sandwiches.
I eyeball my ingredients, and probably add more lemon juice, white pepper and ginger than called for in the recipe that follows. Taste and adjust quantities as you see fit, but trust me, this is close to perfect.
Adapted from Cooking From New England
Makes about 3 cups
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, julienned
1 12-oz. bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Finely grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Squeeze the juice from both oranges into a small bowl.
Combine the sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar begins to turn a light brown, washing down the sides of the pan with a little water if needed to prevent burning.
When the sugar is caramelized, add the julienned ginger and orange zest. Continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add the cranberries, orange juice, and white pepper. Increase the heat to medium-heat and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, until the berries pop and are broken but not mushy. Remove from the heat and cool.