Here’s a quick and fun recipe to try for holiday giving or to accent your Christmas table: pickled cranberries!  She’s gone crazy with the pickling, you say.  Nope, I reply, I just really like pickles, and cranberries, and new recipes.  These are beautiful little jewels in a jar; taste-wise, they are somewhere between cranberry sauce and chutney, a refreshing change to accent turkey, duck, pork or ham.  I was inspired by a few recipes I saw on Punk Domestics (as I am so often these days) and encouraged by my friend L, who will also be my very first taste-tester.  Ultimately, I made my own recipe by blending elements I liked from a few different sources.  You could very, very easily halve this and make only enough for a dinner or two; I chose to make enough to can, and processed my jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.  If you make some this weekend, they will be perfect in time for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner.  Super-awesome bonus feature of this recipe: you can use the leftover pickling liquid as a shrub syrup!

Pickled Cranberries

  • 3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 2 12-oz. bags of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice berries

In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine vinegar and sugar.  While the liquid heats, combine spices in a piece of cheesecloth; tie ends closed, leaving a long piece of string as a handle/tether.  Rinse cranberries and remove any spoiled ones.  When your vinegar mixture is combined so that sugar is no longer visible in the mixture (it should be simmering but not quite boiling), add cranberries and submerge the spices in the pan.  I tied the long string to the handle of my pan to keep it in place.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; the cranberries will start to soften and pop.  Cook for 5-7 minutes at a rolling boil.  Remove from heat, remove spices and allow to cool.*  Store in the refrigerator; will be best after about a week.

*If you are canning, transfer hot berries into clean jars with a slotted spoon and then fill the jars with pickling liquid.  Don’t forget to save extra liquid for shrub syrup!