Crab Apple-Cranberry Relish 2.000
Nov 17, 2010

Along the north Pacific Coast, crab apples (the name given to any wild or cultivated species of small, sour apples) traditionally were steamed before being mashed or combined with dried berries.

The recipe doubles easily.

Make Ahead: The relish can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Servings: 2 cups
  • 8 ounces unpeeled crab apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (may substitute Granny Smith apples; see headnote)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup pure unsweetened cranberry juice


Place the apple pieces in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Add the cranberries and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring and/or slightly mashing, until they release their juices.

Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved, then add the cranberry juice and mix well. Taste, and add sugar as needed.

Serve warm; or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook," by Richard Hetzler (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, with Fulcrum Publishing, 2010).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at