A white plate with goat cheese topped with fermented Cranberry-Orange Relish and crackers. |

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish, with fresh cranberries, toasted pecans, and candied ginger is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. It goes great with soft cheese and crackers for a tantalizing and eye-catching appetizer. You can also use it for topping your yogurt, adding toasted coconut and a bit of maple syrup. And of course, it’s always colorful and delicious alongside turkey.

Course Appetizer, Fermented, Relish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Author Holly Howe

You Will Need


  • 1 pint (500 ml) wide-mouth canning jar or similar sized jar & lid
  • Optional weight and airlock device
  • Food processor


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) candied ginger
  • 2 cups (480 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries, measured out; or 8 ounces (230) grams, if weighed
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 orange, zest and juice of
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) iodine-free salt (fine-grain)


  1. CHOP. Use a food processor to first coarsely chop the candied ginger.
  2. ADD remaining ingredients and pulse until medium consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a bit more sugar if desired. 
  3. PACK the cranberry mixture into a wide-mouth pint (500 ml) jar, pressing relish mixture down tightly with a large spoon or tapping the jar on the counter to jostle mixture down. Don't worry if there is no brine to cover the mixture.

  4. Leave 1 inch of headspace between the top of the cranberry relish and the top of the jar.
  5. Pack any excess relish into another jar. 

  6. SUBMERGE. If using an optional weight, add it now. I have fermented this relish successfully both with and without weight and airlock. It's a thick paste and you may not see much of any brine.
  7. Firmly screw on lid with or without an airlock. Write the date and recipe name on the lid. Since this ferment does not produce excessive CO2, you're fine with just a regular lid. 

  8. FERMENT. Place in a shallow bowl on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight to ferment for 5-7 days.
  9. As it ferments the color deepens to a dark red. You may see air pockets develop as CO2 gasses are created. No need to worry. Either leave it be or press down on the mixture with a fork to eliminate the air pockets.

  10. SAMPLE. Taste around the 5-day mark, looking for a sour tang with a bit of sweetness in the background. Ferment for a few more days, if necessary.

  11. STORE. When fermented to your liking, add the fermentation length to your label and place it in your refrigerator where it can last 6 months to one year.

  12. ENJOY. Cranberry-Orange Relish may be eaten alongside poultry. I especially love it with soft cheese (goat or brie) and crackers. It also works great as a topping for yogurt. 

Recipe Notes

  1. Cranberries seem to be sold in 12-ounce (340 g) bags. A 12-ounce (340 g) bag of cranberries will yield about 3 cups of whole cranberries.
  2. Fresh or frozen cranberries work equally well in this recipe.