Pickled Cranberries


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So cranberries are fine. I mean, I know everyone loves them and their grown just outside my back door, in the bogs of Massachusetts, but they’ve never really impressed me. They’re annoyingly tart on their own and show off that same tartness, just chewier, when studded in loaves, scones or muffins.

I know, I know, I’m in the minority. You all love cranberries.

It took me a while, but I finally found the recipe to make me love cranberries. Simple: pickle them. A little apple cider vinegar, a little sugar, some spice and, poof, cranberries have been made sweet and sour and exhibit this candied texture that I just love.


I made them for a cheese course, but they are equally delicious in a sandwich or alongside a serving of roast pork. The best part of this recipe? This sweet vinegar shrub is also amazing, AMAZING, with some sparkling wine. Too busy chowing down on the cheese plate, Heidi and I neglected to snag cocktail photos – but trust me, it works.

My signature Christmas cocktail involves an overflowing tablespoon of pickled cranberries and four ounces of sparkling wine (Prosecco works well). After two or three, I’ve convinced myself that the antioxidants are counter-acting the affect of the booze, but it’s a lie. It’s just good.


Pickled Cranberries

Adapted from Marisa McClellan’s Recipe in Food in Jars


  • 1 12-ounce bags of cranberries
  • 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries


  1. Wash cranberries and pick over for any stems or bad berries.
  2. Combine vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cinnamon sticks to the brine.
  3. Place allspice berries, whole cloves, black peppercorns and juniper berries in a spice bag or tie them up in a length of cheesecloth. Add them to the brine.
  4. Once brine is boiling vigorously, add the cranberries. Stir to combine and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the cranberries begin to pop and the brine has returned to a rolling boil.
  5. When cooking time has elapsed, remove pot from heat. Pull out the spice bag and cinnamon sticks.
  6. Can this recipe according to Marisa’s recipe, or store in the fridge for a few weeks.

All photos styled and taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio.

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