Recipe: Cider Cranberry Relish

There are two types of people in this world: those who crave processed cranberry sauce from a can, and those who will turn down anything but the homemade kind. Actually, there is a third type of person, too ⁠— the one for whom hard cider is a key ingredient in their cranberry sauce recipe! It all makes perfect sense when you think about it: apples and cranberries are two of the most iconic autumnal fruit flavors, and their sweet and sour properties harmonize in this cider cranberry relish.

Our recipe turns the flavor dial up with zesty fresh ginger, tangy green apple, plus plenty of garlic and onion to keep the sauce from veering too much into dessert territory. Crack a bottle of crisp, dry cider to add to the sauce for an extra dose of fall flavor.

Cider Cranberry Relish

Ready in: 75 minutes

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2” knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 12 ounces hard cider, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cranberry relish)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and thyme and cook additional minute until fragrant. Stir in cranberries and apples and cook until tender and cranberries start to burst, about 15 minutes (longer if cranberries were frozen).
  2. Stir in cider, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reduces and thickens, about 30-40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  3. Remove from heat and using immersion blender, pulse until almost smooth, leaving a little bit of texture (alternatively, carefully transfer to food processor or blender and blend to desired consistency). Cool to room temperature and store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
    Serve garnished with fresh thyme alongside ham, turkey, or on your favorite leftovers sandwich.
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