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Side Dish

Gingered cranberry and pear relish

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1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
6 ripe Bosc pears
1 bag (12 oz.) cranberries
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp. pear vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pear juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat and boil for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is clear. Cook for 1 minute longer, and then remove the syrup from the heat.

Peel, core and quarter two of the pears. Add to the syrup in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender. (Pears must be completely submerged in the syrup. Use a small plate to weigh them down.) Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears to a plate and let cool.

Pick over the cranberries, discarding any stems or rotten, shriveled or "petrified" berries. Cook the cranberries in the same syrup over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread out on a plate to cool.

Strain the syrup into a stainless-steel bowl. Add the ginger, vinegar, half of the lemon juice, the poached pears and the pear juice. Puree the mixture in a blender, and then strain through a fine sieve. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and place over low heat until ready to serve.

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