Gently prick the apples all over with a fork or the tip of a small sharp knife. This is so that they don't burst as they cook.
Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a pot.
Roll over the cardamom pods with a rolling pin or the side of a wine bottle to gently crack them open. Don't lose any of the black seeds. Add the cardamom (seeds and pods) and cloves to the pan and bring to a boil
Turn down the heat and add the apples to the pot. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your apples. Use your judgement, you don't want the apples to get soft and mushy.
Carefully remove the apples from the hot liquid and pack them into your jar or jars.
Strain the pickling liquid and then pour into the jars, completely immersing the fruit. Let cool and then cap and refrigerate.
The apples can be canned, as well, for longer storage.
Makes 1 quart
Despite my precautions, my apples did split open a bit, that's ok, it won't hurt the final product at all!
I slightly adapted this recipe from A Hundred Years Ago
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/old-fashioned-spiced-crab-apples/ October 4, 2014