It’s time. Can you taste it? That tongue-titillating tartness? Cranberries are back. Whether you love them or hate them, cranberries are a practically indispensable part of Thanksgiving. But really, they are so much more.
Cranberries are an autumn pick-me-up, little bombs of shocking flavor that can be added into applesauce, baked in muffins, made into jam and slathered on your sandwich, eaten with granola and yogurt, or even by the spoonful whenever you need that jolt of it’s-okay-that-summer’s-over feeling. Winter’s coming but it doesn’t need to be all butter and braising. Just because we’ve got to make do without raspberries and watermelon doesn’t mean we still can’t have a little fun.
This cranberry relish in particular is fun with a capital “F”. White cranberries (cranberries harvested after they’ve matured, but before they turn red) are joined with candied grapefruit peel and grapefruit juice, cooked until the berries “pop!” and sassied up with mint. To say it’s refreshing is a serious understatement. This cranberry relish is practically electric.
Maybe too electric for the Thanksgiving table. It’s a bit too dominating for turkey but the zing!-factor shines slathered over a pork tenderloin, or even a flank steak. Better yet, serve this (warmed up a tad) over buttery pound cake. You’d never know it wasn’t summer outside.
White Cranberry Relish with Grapefruit and Mint
Makes 3 cups//adapted from Bon Appetit, Nov ’08
- 1 large pink grapefruit*
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups white cranberries (or red cranberries)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (pink-yellow outer layer only) from 1 grapefruit in strips. Cut peel into 2-inch-long, 1/8-inch-wide strips (about 1/2 cup). Squeeze 1 cup juice from grapefruits.
Stir 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add grapefruit peel; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is soft, about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup grapefruit juice and cranberries; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Stir in mint. Cover; chill until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Bon Appetit uses 2 grapefruits, I only had one on hand. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any grapefruit flavor (it was very pronounced, actually) but feel free to use 2 instead of 1.