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Recipes and Stories

21 November 2012: Thanksgiving Lagniappe—Purefoy Cranberry Relish

Purefoy Cranberry Relish

If you’re getting down to the wire with Thanksgiving and don’t have time to make cranberry sauce, but still don’t want to open a can, here’s a quick and simple classic that requires no cooking. If you have a food processor handy, it comes together in five minutes flat—and will keep until Christmas if you keep it well-covered and refrigerated, and use only a clean silver or stainless steel spoon to dip into it.

The dining room of the now-vanished Purefoy Hotel in Talladega, Alabama, was legendary all across the South for its fine cooking and impeccable down-home service. Though this relish probably did not originate there, it was served there every winter holiday season from at least the late 1930s until it closed, and is indelibly associated with the hotel by those who were lucky enough to have dined there.

Purefoy Cranberry Relish
Makes 8 cups

1½ pounds (2 12-ounce packages) fresh cranberries
3 whole oranges
3 small, tart apples, such as Winesaps or Arkansas Blacks, or 2 large tart apples such as Granny Smiths
2½ cups sugar

1. Wash all the fruit and dry well. Pick over the cranberries and discard any soft or blemished berries. Peel the oranges and set the peels aside. Slice the oranges crosswise into ¼-inch slices and seed them. Quarter and core the apples.

2. Cut the orange peel, orange, and apples into chunks roughly the same size as the berries. Put the zest, orange, apple, and berries in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until uniformly chopped fine. Add the sugar and pulse to mix. Transfer to a glass or stainless steel bowl, cover, and refrigerate 24 hours before using. Stir before serving, and serve cold.

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