Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tickle My Pickle

You got my pickle? I got your pickle! Get your minds out of the gutter… It’s time to talk pickles…


Since I have a few canning adventures under my belt now (apple butter, grape jam, refried beans), I figured it was time to give pickles a whirl. I love a good pickle, almost as much as I love bacon, so it’s about time I learned to make my own. As usual, my favorite canning book, Canning For A New Generation by Liana Krisoff was a great jumping off point. I can’t follow directions blindly, so I added some extra spice to the recipe on one of the pints to see how much better it would be.

As usual, Liana gives great tips, like pasteurizing (heating the jars in water at 180 degrees for 30 minutes) rather than processing in boiling water for a shorter period means you’ll end up with crispier pickles.

Honeyed Bread and Butter Pickles with a Kick
makes 3 pint jars

1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers (3 to 4” long), cut into 1/4” rounds
1 small onion, thinly sliced into half circles
1/8 cup plus 1.5 tsp pure kosher salt
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1.5 tsp celery seeds
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3/8 cup honey
3/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp dry mustard powder

DSC00947Put the cucumbers & onions in a large bowl & toss with 1/8 cup salt. Cover with a layer of
ice cubes and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.



Pick out unmelted ice, drain well, and rinse under cold running water. Toss with mustard seeds, celery seeds, and red pepper flakes.
Set aside.


In a nonreactive pot, combine vinegar, 3/4 cup water, honey, turmeric, mustard powder, and remaining 1.5 tsp salt. If pasteurizing, bring the mixture to 160-180 degrees on a candy thermometer.


Carefully pack the cucumbers and onions into prepared jars (not too tightly). Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving 1/2” headspace at the top. Use a chopstick to remove air bubbles around the inside of each jar. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims
of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on
each jar until its finger tight.

Pasteurize the jars in the canning pot – water in the pot at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each flat lid. If you can push down the center, the jar didn’t seal and it should be refrigerated immediately. Ta-Da! You’re done!

These didn’t last very long in our house… Next time I’ll probably double the recipe so I have some to share. And maybe add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes for some extra heat.


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