Cranberries are such a traditional part of a Thanksgiving dinner in the United States. However, because they are so tart, many people do not like them. When I was young, my family always had the jellied cranberry in a can with our turkey dinner. While I still enjoy that type of cranberry relish, I really have come to enjoy the whole cranberries. One of the grocery stores in our area sells a couple of different cranberry salads that are so yummy- but have a lot of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Since I have been trying to cut back on sugar and avoid HFCS as much as possible, I decided to make up my own version that has been inspired by their recipes. I have been making this for the past couple years, and wherever I serve this dish, it always gets rave reviews.
Don't be put off by the list of ingredients. It is not very hard to make if you have a food processor or chopper and is totally worth the effort. It also freezes well and can be made up in a big batch and then separated into a few containers to freeze. Then remove it later and serve with some chicken, turkey or pork.
- 1 bag (12 oz.) of cranberries, fresh or frozen- I prefer frozen so they don't mush up as much when chopping)
- 1 large apple
- 2 large celery stalks, outside fibers removed if necessary
- 1 (15 oz.) can of pineapple, drained (reserve the liquid for jello)
- 1 large orange, peeled and membranes removed or 1 (11 oz.) can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
- 2 (3 oz.) boxes of raspberry or cherry jello
- 1 3/4 cup total of liquids- use reserved liquids and enough water or orange juice to make up the amount needed
- 3-4 Tbsp sugar
- Rinse cranberries and chop with quick pulses in a food processor or chopper, being careful to not chop too much or it will turn to paste/liquid
- Continue chopping the remainder of the fruit/vegetables and add everything into a large bowl. Oranges need to be broken up somewhat so there are not very large chunks.
- In a medium saucepan, heat liquid and sugar together until just boiling, then add in the gelatin. Turn off heat and remove from the burner, stirring well to mix and dissolve the jello.
- Add the liquid mixture into the chopped fruit and stir well.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or until well-chilled and more firm.
- Just before serving, stir to loosen it up and break up the chunks.
*Note: if you desire a much softer consistency, try using only 1 box of jello and add in 1/4 -1/3 cup extra sugar into the liquid mixture when boiling. There will be more juices from the cranberries and other fruit.