Apple Cranberry Rhubarb Relish

The English language is a funny thing.  There are so many words that are nearly interchangeable that sometimes I find myself at a loss as to which one is correct to use.  For instance, take the topping on that waffle in the picture.  What would you call it?

I have been calling it:

rel·ish noun \ˈre-lish\

something adding a zestful flavor; especially : a condiment (as of pickles or green tomatoes) eaten with other food to add flavor

chut·ney noun \ˈchət-nē\

a thick sauce of Indian origin that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment

jam noun

a food made by boiling fruit and sugar to a thick consistency

While I’m not quite sure what I ended up with, I started out to make a chutney.

Since I can confirm that topping my waffle with it did result in Merriam Webster’s alternate definition of relish – enjoyment of or delight in something that satisfies one’s tastes, inclinations, or desire – I am making the executive decision that what I made was a relish.  When you, or Merriam Webster, make it, y’all can call it what you like.

Apple Cranberry Rhubarb Relish

Inspired by Bluebonnets & Brownies Apple Rhubarb Chutney from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

BAH Note:  The chutney recipe I used as my guide is meant to be canned.  I don’t preserve so I store my relish in the refrigerator.  I wasn’t quite expecting this recipe to make the quantity it did.  If I had to do it all over again, I would cut the recipe in half.  Also, if you are making a full batch, you need to work in a dutch oven, preferably a 6 quart one.  I used my 12 inch frying pan and was really pushing my luck.  Remember, boiling sugary liquid is HOT.

BAH Tip: If you are using frozen rhubarb, it is much easier to dice before it has thawed.

  • 8 cups apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (from approximately 8 medium size apples)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 bag whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine rhubarb, cranberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar, water and 4 cups of apples in a dutch oven.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil.  Lower heat to maintain a gentle boil, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the remaining 4 cups of apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and return to a gentle boil for 15 to 30 minutes or until the mixture has cooked down to a thick consistency and the diced apple pieces are tender.

Carefully transfer the relish into individual glass containers and store in the refrigerator.

{printable recipe}

31 thoughts on “Apple Cranberry Rhubarb Relish

  1. Mmm, looks tasty whatever you want to call it. I love anything with apples and cranberries.

    1. Jennifer, I think it tastes like fall. Today I’m calling it jamney. Tomorrow I may call it jamlish. You’re right, it doesn’t really matter what I call it. Because this is some good stuff.

    1. Compote, I like it. It’s also kind of marmaladeish,marmalady? I’ve been casually referring to it as jamlish but may throw a ‘pote reference out just to keep things interesting.

  2. i converted to rhubarbism two summers ago when i made it & tried it for the first time in a rosemary & strawberry jam. now anything with rhubarb is delish. your concoction is pure Autumn Personified. other than waffles, where else would you dollop this relish? the possibilities are endless, i’m sure!

    1. Lan, I like the way you phrased that…converted to rhubarbism. I mix this into my oatmeal but have plans for it to fancy up some biscuits on Thanksgiving.

      I have one more bag of rhubarb and cranberries in the freezer so I imagine I will make another batch of this before apple season ends. I’ll have to send some your way.

    2. hello! i stumble up on some fresh rhubarb at the market while looking for cranberries and ideas to make something for our thanksgiving potluck… i also picked up delicious apples and fresh raspberries… i think that with the right spices, orange juice and some nuts I am going to concoct the most fabulous chutney… you guys helped a lot, thanks!!!

    1. Thanks Tracy. To me, it has a very fall vibe. If I had more room to store things, this recipe might just get me to give canning a try. I wonder how tall a pot I would need to process the short jars? Because this would make out of town christmas gifts so freaking easy.

  3. I’m totally digging the combination of this with pork that Amber mentioned–that sounds like perfection. And Wendi, the picture of the waffle is just gorgeous. There’s nothing like good food photography to get the salivation goin’ on.

    1. Jenna, that’s very kind of you to say. Some days the camera and I get along better than others. This was one of our better days together.

      If you have these ingredients handy (and really, you could do it without the rhubarb), get to cooking because this really celebrates the flavors of fall.

    1. Biz, buy that frozen rhubarb the next time you see it. Because you never know when the urge to make some jamney is going to strike you.

    1. Jen, there’s some of this with your name on it at my house. However, I can not guarantee how long I can keep The Mistah away from it.

      PS, look for frozen rhubarb at the grocery store.

    1. Anna, this really is a lovely jamney. I’ve decided to try and can some for the holidays. Ack. That could be a whole new level of crazy.

    1. I can’t say that you can really taste the rhubarb in my version of the relish because of the extra cranberries and apples that I added. But maybe that’s a good way to introduce yourself to the idea of rhubarb…sneak it in.

  4. THIS IS SO YUMMY!!!! I served it with my bacon-laced pork chops and it brought just the right amount of sweet to my salty savory. Thanks Wendipants!

    1. Brooke, glad it was a hit at your house. And once that wee bitty jar I sent you is all gone, you know where to go for the recipe. For non canning purposes, just stash it in the fridge.

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