Pickled Cranberries

by Maggie Battista on December 20, 2012

in All Recipes, Appetizers, Cheese, Food Gifts, Fruit


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.

Eat Boutique  discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans.  We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in  our new shop


Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

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