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}