Kandy Spiced Maple Cranberry Relish
Makes about 2 cups.
This cooked relish retains a fresh bite, is pleasantly sweet-tart, and unusually spiced (the intricate flavors of our Kandy Spice complement both sweet and tart components). The relish takes inspiration from Italian mostarda, American cranberry sauce, and British chutney but is not exactly any of those — it is delicious.
The relish keeps for a week in the fridge, although its flavor will fade a little over time. In addition to serving it at the holiday table, try it alongside roast chicken or pork chops, on sandwiches or a cheese board, or to garnish roasted squash.
1 sweet-tart apple, such a Winesap, Mutsu, or Honey Crisp
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus a bit extra for finishing
1 cup apple cider
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons Kandy Spice
2 teaspoons coarse mustard
8 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
¼ cup diced dried apricots (7–8 apricots)
Salt and black pepper
Peel and core the apple; cut half of it into a dice (save the other half for another use). Toss the diced apple with 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
Put the cider, vinegar, and maple syrup into a heavy saucepan (3-quart at least) set over medium-high heat. When the mixture boils, reduce the heat so that it is cooking at a brisk simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened and the volume has reduced to 1 cup (half the original volume), 20–30 minutes.
Stir in the Kandy Spice and mustard. Add the cranberries and apricots. Cook until the berries start to burst and collapse, 2–4 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. The relish should be nicely thick and very glossy. Stir in the diced apple and cook for a minute more.
Stir in a few drops of lemon juice to heighten the flavor. Taste the relish and add more lemon juice or salt if needed. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a tight-sealing container. Store in the fridge.