Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad

This is a lovely cranberry salad for the holiday season. There are many similar recipes online, but this one came from one of my good friends who grew up in the South. There are several steps to the recipe so plan ahead. You want to make it the day before you intend to serve it so it has a chance to set.

Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and any shriveled fruit discarded
1 large orange, quartered and seeded (leave peel on but remove stems)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 (20 oz.) can Dole Gold crushed pineapple
1-1/3 cups reserved pineapple juice
2/3 cup water
1 (6 oz.) pkg. cherry Jello
1 (6 oz.) pkg. raspberry Jello
3 cups boiling water
1 cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

In a food processor combine cranberries, the orange, and the sugar, and process until you get a chunky relish. I prefer to process the mixture until it is smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill 30 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar. While cranberry mixture is chilling, take a sieve and place it over a 2-cup measuring cup. Pour crushed pineapple into the sieve and use a fork to press pineapple down to release juice into the measuring cup. It will take about half an hour to drain all the liquid out of the pineapple. You should have 1-1/3 cups pineapple juice. Add 2/3 cup of water to the pineapple juice to make a total of 2 cups of liquid. In a large bowl combine both packages of jello with 3 cups boiling water. Whisk to dissolve jello. Add to the jello the 2 cups of pineapple juice mixture. Stir until well mixed. Cool on the kitchen counter for 10-15 minutes until the jello mixture is no longer hot. Chop the celery and pecans while the jello is cooling, then add cranberry orange mixture to the gelatin. Mix well. Add drained pineapple, celery, and nuts. Mix well. Pour jello mixture into a glass 9 x 13 pan. Do not use a metal pan. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator until set (it should take around 4 hours), then cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until firm. You can serve as is or top with whipped cream. Serves 12.

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