Spear Family Cooking: Cranberry Relish

Spear Family Cooking: Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish recipe

Holiday Traditions are not only the things you grew up doing as a child, but also the new traditions that we create when we start a family or join another family. Anything that you can do with friends and family that is a positive, life-giving activity is a worthwhile tradition.

Examples might be baking Christmas cookies, cooking together, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, volunteering at Horizons, having an ugly Christmas sweater party, making homemade ornaments…the possibilities are endless.

My family loves to cook and subsequently eat the delicious food that we have prepared. So some of our family traditions are centered on our meals and family gatherings. My mind immediately conjures up thoughts of potato pancakes, Swiss green beans, grandma Charby’s breakfast casserole and braised lamb shanks…YUM.

When I met my wife, Dr. Kristin (Kanoy) Spear and joined her family, there would be freshly made cranberry relish at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had tried the jellied cranberry sauce before and was NOT a fan. This, however, was new to me and was so delicious that is has made the transition to become a Spear family favorite as well. Kristin and I host Thanksgiving at our home, and each year Kristin makes her Cranberry Relish. We also take it to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner, and I am always excited to have leftovers after our celebrations!

Don’t be afraid to start a new tradition with your family during this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!
Will Spear

cranberry relish recipe


cranberry relish

Cranberry Relish

2 12 oz bag of cranberries
3 –oranges (plus the zest of 1 orange)
5 or 6 medium apples (Gayla, Honeycrisp, Pink Ladies)
1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz)
2 cups water (boiling)
2 small packages of Raspberry Jell-O


We use a Ninja Blender, you can use any food processor; however, the multi blade levels of the Ninja make the processing easier. They key is to have a nice texture so that it is not mushy.
Process the cranberries first (one bag at a time) until they are cut into small pieces (see the picture for a reference).

Place them in a large mixing bowl or Tupperware bowl that can then go into the refrigerator for storage.
Next core, cut off any brown spots, and quarter the apples. Process them as you did the cranberries and add them to the mixing bowl.

Zest one orange, then peel all three oranges and cut off any of the white or it will make your relish bitter. You will lose a little orange in this process, but that is OK. Place the prepped oranges in the Ninja/food processor and process briefly then add to the mixing bowl.

Add the can of crushed pineapple with all juices to the bowl and stir the mixture.
Heat the water to boiling and add the raspberry Jell-O and mix until dissolved. Pour over the fruit mixture and mix it a couple of times and place it in the refrigerator to cool.

After it cools for a couple of hours, you are ready to serve. You can also prep this in advance and freeze it.

We have frozen the cranberry relish for up to six weeks before holiday gatherings.

cranberry relish recipe

Find more Holiday recipes below from our Spear family cooking recipes:

Spear Family Cooking: Christmas Cookies

Cheesy Potatoes – Charlotte’s Christmas Tradition

Spear Family Cooking: Potato Rolls

Spear Family Cooking: Swiss Green Beans

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