Every year I try to find new and unusual ways to use cranberries because I think cranberries are a very under rated ingredient. They deserve far more love than they get. This year I may have found the ultimate way to use cranberries. This year I found a recipe to pickle cranberries. Yeah, I said pickle. You make a brine, cook the cranberries in the brine, let them marinate in the brine for 24 hours and then eat them with everything.
You can use them on salads, in vinaigrettes, as a side for meat, poultry and fish. You can add some of the brine to sparkling water and make a shrub. I am going to try them in rice, oatmeal and anything else I can think of over the next fedays.
Beware, this is not a sweet recipe, the recipe on Food with Jars described it as bracing. If you don’t like tart, vinegary tasting things these are probably not for you. I love putting 2 tablespoons of the brine, and some cranberries in a cran-raspberry Spindrift sparkling water for a yummy drink. I am sure it would be good with plain sparkling water as well.
Adapted from Food In Jars
1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp allspice berries
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/8 tsp juniper berries
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cinnamon stick to the brine.
Place the allspice berries, whole clove, black peppercorns, and juniper berries in a spice bag or tie them up in a section of cheese clothe. Add them to the brine.
Bring the brine to a vigorous boil and add the cranberries. Stir to combine and cook 5-7 minutes until the cranberries begin to pop and the brine has returned to a rolling boil.
When cooking time has elapsed remove the spice bag and remove the cranberries from the heat and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.