Make Ahead

Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes

October  9, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Makes One pint (But can easily be doubled)
Author Notes

Pickling is cool because you can do extremely small batches, it's super easy, there are an endless combination of flavors to play with, and the results keep for awhile due to the vinegar preserving the contents of the jar. These take no time to put together, and they are ready to start munching on 24 hours later, so if you like chai and you like grapes there is really no reason not to give a small batch of these a try. They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
This recipe was inspired by Art & Lemons recipe for Chai Tea. —Dabblings

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound of black grapes; rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods; crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger; peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  1. Cut the stem end off of the grapes and put them in a clean pint jar. Set jar aside.
  2. To make the brine, in a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, ginger, and peppercorns. Stir until the sugar is completely melted. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2-3 minutes until you start to smell the chai spices.
  3. Pour the brine over the grapes. Put a lid on the pint jar and stick it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. These will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
  4. Serving suggestions: I like to snack on mine straight out of the jar, but I could see other ways to use them as well. Try chopping some up and eating them over yogurt for breakfast. You could even sprinkle a little cinnamon granola on the yogurt as well. Or serve them as part of a cheese plate. Maybe make a flat-bread with some gruyere or some goat cheese and some caramelized onions. Drop a couple into the bottom of a glass of champagne.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • darksideofthespoon
  • AntoniaJames
  • Dabblings

4 Reviews

darksideofthespoon October 28, 2012
These sound lovely! I love chai and we have a big bag of grapes in the fridge...
AntoniaJames October 25, 2012
Here is the text of my message to the Editors after testing this for Community Pick honors:

"I generally don't care much for the unmitigated sweetness of grapes, but I love pickles of all kinds. And these are outstanding. The combination of spices makes them exquisitely fragrant, as well as delicious. (I plan to use this spiced vinegar to make pear pickles for my Thanksgiving table.) As might be expected, the vinegar cuts the grapes’ sweetness. Best of all, these pickles are nice and crunchy. A great recipe!! ;o)"

There is one thing I will also note. The spices get very strong after a week, so I would recommend putting them in a cheesecloth bag and removing them after a few days. After a day or so, the star anise was overwhelming. By the end of the week, the cloves had taken over. I may be sensitive to the star anise -- it's a very "loud" spice to me -- so next time, I'll probably add only a portion of one. But I do like this recipe, and in fact, have used the formula to make some pickled pears, which will be ready to taste late tonight. Stay tuned . . . . ;o)
Dabblings October 25, 2012
Thank you so much for your comment and suggestions and for testing out this recipe. I always have such respect for you and your cooking.
AntoniaJames October 9, 2012
Nice!! I'm not a big fan of grapes, as they are just too sweet for my taste, but you've provided the perfect solution. I'm going to try this!! ;o)