Saturday, September 12, 2009

In a Pickle

For the last several years, I've spent at least part of annual vacation in East Otto canning the best the summer has to offer. This year, inspired by the fantastic products offered by Rick's Picks, I thought I'd try some pickles.

I was able to source some locally grown cucumbers at the market in Springville. I wanted my pickles to be sweet and spicy, so I added some ginger and some sliced jalapeno peppers to the brine. I made two brines for my pickles; one with tumeric, and one without. I also used a mix of white and apple cider vinegars, to add a depth of flavor and sweetness to the brine.

The process is pretty simple if you have ever canned before. The only difference is you must salt the sliced cukes and onions down for a couple of hours before you jar them. This draws quite a bit of water out of the vegetables, and allows them to absorb the flavorful brine.

Spicy Pickles Two Ways

6 cucumbers
3 onions
½ cup pickling salt
large knob ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
3 jalapenos, sliced into rounds
1 tablespoon cloves
2 tablespoons allspice berries
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
4 cups white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons turmeric

Wash the cucumbers and slice them ¼ inch thick. Cover with about 2/3 of the salt; gently mix with your hands to ensure that the slices are evenly salted. Peel and slice the onion and cover with the remainder of the salt. Let the cucumbers and the onion sit for up to 4 hours.
Once the vegetables have rendered much of their liquid, rinse them well under cold water.

Prepare the pickling brine. In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. In a second large saucepan, combine the same ingredients, omitting the turmeric.

Prepare eight pint jars for canning. Into each jar, place 4 cloves, 8 allspice berries, and a few slices of jalapeno and ginger. Pack the jars with the onions and the pickle slices, adding more jalapeno and ginger about halfway up the jars.

Fill four jars with the turmeric-spiced pickling brine, and four jars with the other brine. Seal the jars, and process them for 15 minutes.

Yield: 8 pint jars of pickles

1 comment:

Mar said...

Those look like they'd be tasty pickles. I don't think I've ever had pickles other than kosher dill pickles from the grocery store.