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This recipe for Spiced Pickled Cranberries can be water bath canned or made for more immediate serving. Serve it alongside your Turkey for a unique twist on Cranberry Sauce. This is also a great recipe for a novice canner.

Truth…I did not really like cranberries growing up; I know that’s a bold statement this time of the year, but there it is. Cranberries were probably ruined for me by the fluoride-ish cranberry sauce and whole cranberries that come out of the cans in the grocery store.

jars of pickled cranberries

That being said, I am more than willing to try ‘alternative’ uses for cranberries and push their tart boundaries a bit. For instance, I do love the Cranberry Curd that I used to fill these Chocolate Tarts as well as this Winter Spiced Cranberry Conserve. So, when I was trying to figure out a new way to serve cranberries at our Thanksgiving table this year, I decided to go a different route and the result is pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!

I leaned on a Pickled Cranberries recipe by canning maven, Marisa McClellan, altering the recipe to have more depth with the balsamic vinegar, as well as a hint of vanilla and cardamom.

How to Serve Pickled Cranberries

I plan to serve these spiced pickled cranberries in a bowl alongside our Thanksgiving Turkey; they are completely different from the sweeter Cranberry Conserve which we will also enjoy at the table. And, after tasting these lovelies and their cranberry balsamic brine, I am already planning to mix some of the brine with some olive oil to toss our salad; I’m thinking greens with some pickled cranberries, sliced apples, toasted pumpkin seeds, and this cranberry balsamic dressing!

close up of pickled cranberries

I can absolutely see draining these pickled cranberries and tucking them in a ‘day after thanksgiving’ turkey sandwich and Marisa recommends using some of the brine mixed sparkling water for a ‘shrub’…that might get made too!

Supplies I Use for Canning Pickled Cranberries:

Some of these links may be affiliate links and I may earn a small commission off of the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

While canning isn’t hard, it does require a few pieces of equipment to make the task much easier. These are the tools and equipment I used to make these Pickled Cranberries:

That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes! I also have a post on tools necessary for canning and preserving foods for you to check out. 

Spiced Pickled Cranberries Recipe

Spiced Pickled Cranberries Recipe

Yield: 5 half-pints
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Water Bath CanningTime: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This perfectly spiced pickled cranberries recipe includes balsamic vinegar for depth, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom for the lovely winter spice.

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 cardamom pods

Instructions

  1. If you will be water bath canning these pickled cranberries, then prepare canner, jars, and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
  2. Thoroughly wash and pick through your cranberries
  3. Combine both vinegars, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, and allspice to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  4. If water bath canning, remove jars from boiling water and distribute cranberries among the 5 jars. If you will not be canning these for long-term use, you can put the cranberries in a glass bowl that has a lid. Cut the vanilla bean into 5 equal pieces and place one in each jar, or the single glass bowl, as well.
  5. Once vinegars have simmered for 30 minutes, remove from the stove. Remove and reserve the spices with a slotted spoon and distribute the brine among the 5 jars or pour into your single glass bowl. Alternately, use a funnel with a mesh sieve to catch the spices as you pour the brine into the 5 jars.
  6. If canning, leave 1/2" headspace. If you need a wee bit more liquid to get to the 1/2", add white vinegar to make up the difference.
  7. Add cardamom pods and cinnamon stick pieces to the jars if desired.
  8. If you will not be canning the pickled cranberries, then let the cranberries cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. They will be ready to eat in 24 hours.
  9. If you will be canning the cranberries, wipe your rims with white vinegar, apply the lids and rims place in the canner, making sure the jars are completely covered with water by 2". Add additional boiling water as needed to raise the water level.
  10. Cover canner and bring water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting time as necessary for elevation. (see notes)
  11. Remove jars and place upright on a rack to allow to cool completely for 24 hours.
  12. Refrigerate any jars that did not seal

Notes

This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 2 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 0g
So, what do you think? Will you give these Pickled Cranberries a whirl? I know that they are not the ‘traditional’ cranberries of past, but the depth of flavor of these cranberries is really delightful.

pin for pickled cranberries

If you want to refer back to this Pickled Cranberries recipe in the future, bookmark this page or pin the following image.

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Until next time…

Hugs,


4 Comments

  1. Grace

    November 11, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ll admit to liking the store purchased cranberry sauce of my childhood but once I had homemade cranberry sauce I fell in love. My husband loves all things “pickled” so we will add this one to our traditions.

    Reply
    • lynn

      November 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      Oh, I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! It’s a nice and refreshing change to accompany your turkey!

      Hugs,

      Lynn

      Reply
  2. Carla from Kansas

    November 11, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I really love cranberries and this recipe sounds delish. Could it be frozen instead of canned?

    Reply
    • lynn

      November 11, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Carla! I am afraid that the cranberries would get soggy if frozen. Since they are pickled, they will hold in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks if you choose to not can them.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs,

      Lynn

      Reply

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