Food Network Magazine (November 2012)
When we started making Fakesgiving plans, in order to do a dry-run of Thanksgiving dishes, we had trouble getting excited about cranberry sauces. As our recap of favorite holiday dishes shows, we've made a bunch of cranberry sauces over the years. We like -- and sometimes even love -- cranberry sauce, but after a while, they all start to run together.
This year, we got really excited about alternatives to cranberry sauce. We were so excited, in fact, that we served three of them. (Never fear: We also whipped up a fourth more traditional cranberry sauce for guests.)
This Cherry-Lemon Relish was one of our favorites -- and it definitely deserves a spot on your Thanksgiving table.
This is an excellent alternative to cranberry sauce. It's light and lemony and not too sweet. And it pairs well with turkey.
However, it's not perfect. When made in our kitchen, this relish came out too thin and runny for our tastes. It has a lot of liquid, from both the simple syrup that's used to sweeten it and the juice released from the frozen cherries.
Here's how we would fix it. If we were making it again, we would extend the cook time in the first step, reducing the simple syrup significantly, at least by half but more likely down to 1/4 cup of liquid. [Update: As commenter MelissaJane points out, it would be easier to simply start with less water in the first place. Maybe 2/3 of a cup instead of a full cup. Or even 1/2 cup. You can always add more water.] That should ensure that the cherry sauce, once whirred together in the food processor, comes out nice and thick.
Still, even runny, this Cherry-Lemon Relish was fantastic. We think you'll agree.
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Total time: 30 minutes
Notes from Zach and Clay:
We found this Cherry-Lemon Relish to be a little thin for our tastes. We would recommend starting with 1/2 cup of water instead a full cup, and reducing the simple syrup to 1/4 cup. This should help produce a thicker relish.
Combine the zest of 2 lemons (in wide strips), 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cinnamon stick in a pot over medium heat; bring to a simmer and cook until the zest is slightly translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Strain; reserve the lemon zest and syrup and discard the cinnamon stick. Put the lemon zest in a food processor; add 1 1/2 pounds frozen cherries (thawed and drained) and a pinch of salt. Pulse, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the sugar syrup to loosen. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice.