I had a half bag of fresh cranberries leftover from making my cranberry upside down cake. I bought another bag so that I could make this recipe. A delicious condiment alongside smoked or roasted hams and turkeys, spiced cranberries are very easy to make. Small jars make excellent hostess gifts too. I ended up with 4 half pint jars. Have clean jars and lids ready for canning in a boiling water bath before starting the recipe. This recipe assumes you know how to use a boiling water canner.
1 and 1/2 bags fresh cranberries, picked over and washed
2 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole star anise
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Put the anise, peppercorns, and allspice into a mesh tea strainer or cheesecloth bag and close it up. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cinnamon sticks and the whole spices in their mesh container. Add the cranberries and bring the mixture to a low boil. Boil for about 8 – 10 minutes until the cranberries are soft and the mixture has started to foam up. Remove the cinnamon sticks (reserve them) and the whole spices (toss out). Stir the cloves into the cranberries. Put a half of a reserved cinnamon stick into the bottom of each half pint jar. Using a slotted spoon, spoon cranberries into jars, leaving 3/4 inch headspace. Top with syrup mixture to within 1/2 inch of rim. Close up jars with metal lids and bands and boil them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool, undisturbed, until completely cool and the lids have sealed. Store any remaining unsealed jars in the fridge.