Homemade Cranberry Jelly and Pickled Cranberries

November 14, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)

pickled cranberries

Last November, I did two things with cranberries that continue to top my own personal hit parade of really good canning ideas. The first was that I pickled cranberries. Those sweet-tart cranberries were so satisfying with turkey and generally great with all manner of other savory things (and the brine worked really well in sparkling water).

"canned" homemade cranberry sauce

The other thing I did was make homemade cranberry jelly and mold it up in BPA-free aluminum cans, so that I could slide it out onto my traditional cranberry dish, can-ridges and all. I still get a kick out of it when I look back on that post. Maybe there’s space for this homemade-but-still-classic version on your Thanksgiving table this year?

In other news, I made a batch of pear cranberry jam on Monday that I’m in the process of writing up for this space (look for it later tonight). However, in the meantime, I couldn’t resist pointing out these older posts.

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19 thoughts on "Homemade Cranberry Jelly and Pickled Cranberries"

  • Love your website. Got your book from the library and have requested it from Santa :-)….. Have a new canner question: it’s just my husband and myself. Can I use the half-pint jars instead of pint jars when canning? At this point I am such a beginner (water bath only, no pressure canning yet) and I’ve never read anything about using ‘smaller’ jars. Specifically, I am going to do your pickled cranberry recipe and would prefer 6 half-pints instead of 3 pints which might linger too long once opened.

    Thanks in advance. Can’t wait for Santa to bring your book!

    1. Gena, you can always use different sized jars as long as they are smaller than the jar called for by the recipe. Pints, half pints, and quarter pints are all processed for the same amount of time.

      1. Many thanks for the quick reply. I have my 1/2 pint jars, and all ingredients set up on counter. Off I go!

        I want to say also, that your book and website are the two sources of canning info that I turn to each week. I love that you write about canning in smaller quantities. The idea of baskets full of produce and daylong canning sessions was always too intimidating for me to step into, until I found your book. Thanks!!!!

  • Oh my sweet heaven’s… this is exactly what I am going to have to make. You see cranberry jelly is my family’s comfort food so they will ecstatic to have jars of it lining the cabinet shelf. I mean we are talking I’ll have to ration it if I’m not careful because they will eat it all before Christmas! So thank you very, very much!

  • I just made the pickled cranberries last weekend. The recipe indicated that it would make 3 pints. I was able to fill two pint and 2 half pint jars but noticed after I hot water processed and let sit that the ratio of cranberries to liquid was about 70/30 with cranberries floating on top of the liquid. Did I do something wrong? I did have about 1 cup of liquid left which was great mixed in a vodka club!

  • I’ve gone cranberry crazy lately. I’ve made several jars of different versions of cranberry sauce (jellied and whole berry) and also two different cranberry chutneys but those pickled cranberries sound very appealing to me.

    Can this recipe be safely halved for canning?

  • I made those pickled cranberries and have absolutely fallen in LOVE with them!! I used them (and the syrup) in a great salad with candied walnuts, goat cheese, and sweet potato, and with a baguette and fancy cheese. What I really can’t wait for is to use them in a Thanksgiving cocktail–who doesn’t need one more of those? 🙂 I’ve been drinking the syrup with fizzy water and a splash of vodka, but would love to try something more deliberate with gin. One thing I also tried recently was adding a little bit of dried orange peel to the jars before canning. Oranges and cranberries go so well together, the flavor is really nice.

    And by the way, I canned all of mine in half-pint jars, processed for the same 10 minutes, and they were fine (though I went through the half-pint in about three days! no worries about it sitting too long in my fridge :-))

    1. Christina,

      Thanks for the mention of using the half pints. It’s just DH and myself and sometimes we can let a large (cost-effective) jar of good stuff go too long in fridge. Which of course makes the cost-effectiveness fly right out the window.

      As for the wowser taste and going through it in 3 days… well I’d just open up a new half pint on day 4, and run out to grab some more ingredients to can again!!! Canning does become addictive, doesn’t it, especially for seasonal foods.

  • I have some pickled cranberries in the canner at the moment. I’m sipping on some brine mixed with sparkling water. (And ice cubes. I couldn’t wait for the brine to actually cool.) Too, too good. I’d make it all over again just for the “shrub.” What about canning the leftover brine? I filled two pints with cranberries, but had a whopping two cups of brine leftover.

    Not that I can’t find uses for it. Just curious. 🙂

  • I just made the pickled cranberries. Didn’t eat any of the fruit, but tried the leftover brine in a glass of water. Yummy! Will take these to two Thanksgiving feasts on Thursday.

  • Made the pickled cranberries, wonderful! I want to can the brine next time I make the recipe (which will be soon), any suggestions on the processing time?
    Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  • I made the pickled cranberries. LOVE the leftover brine in cocktails – it paired perfectly with a bottle of moscato I had on hand that can be too sweet. Perfect. I personally found the cranberries themselves quite tart – however, my daughter who loves all things tart, most especially cranberries, LOVES them and has requested another batch. She’s been sitting down with a jar and a spoon and just going to town….

  • Made today. Have about 2 cups leftover brine (shrub), which I put in a clean jar and refrigerated. Any idea how long it is good for in the fridge? I am hoping to save it for some Christmas cocktails next week if you think it will still be good. Or do I need to reheat and can the shrub if I want to keep it for a week? Thanks.

  • Your pickled cranberries are awesome! I made them last fall and I’m still in love with them. They’re great in salads. The shrub has been my cocktail starter of choice this winter. I will put up MORE this fall. I’m inspired to do blueberries this summer.