A Little Sweet, a Little Tart: Grandma Debbie’s Cranberry Relish

California Cooking
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Jessica’s mom said she might be the only one in the family who really likes cranberry relish, but she knows what an important element it is for holiday hosts: It helps cut through all the other heavy food on the Thanksgiving table.

“I like a little sweet with my savory,” Grandma Debbie said.

It’s much better than canned cranberry relish, Jessica says. Give it a try this year! You can make it the day before serving and leave in the fridge overnight.

Grandma Debbie’s Cranberry Relish


  • 2 bags of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet apple, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, chopped
  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts


  1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, cook cranberries with 2 tablespoons water and the granulated sugar for about 15 minutes, until thick.
  2. Remove cranberries to a bowl, and let chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes,
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the celery, crushed pineapple, drained mandarins and apples.
  4. Top with the cooked cranberries and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Mix well.
  5. Add in walnuts and mix again. Taste and add more sugar, if desired. It should be tart.
  6. Enjoy!


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