Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rick's Sweet & Sour Pickles

Hi.  Today was pickle day.  Went to Marini Farm and picked up some pickling cukes.  They are different from slicing cucumbers.  Dryer, smaller  and more crisp.

Making pickles takes some time but are much tastier than store bought.  I like sweet and sour, kind of a cross between bread and butter pickles and sour dills.  To make one batch you'll need a couple of hours.  I'll post the recipe at the end, but here are some of the steps involved:
Here are the pickles.  Six pounds...the colander is super-sized
In the brine with onions and salt

After brining for two hours
This is the actual pickling liquid, a combo of vinegars, sugar and spices
The jars sterilizing.  A clean environment is key
Here they are in the jar
This is the finished jar after processing

I find it's great to do with two people, particularly when filling and processing the jars.  There are a lot of repetitive steps. 

Here's the recipe:  Rick's Sweet and Sour Pickles

2qts (about 6lbs) pickling cukes washed several times and cut into 1/4" slices
1qt  yellow onions sliced thin and then in quarters
1/2c kosher salt
2-3 qts distilled water.
2c white sugar
1c brown sugar
2c white vinegar
2c cider vinegar
2t mustard seed
2t celery seed
1t tumeric
4-5 allspice berries
10 peppercorns

In a large bowl layer cukes, onions and salt. Cover completely with water and let stand 2 hours.  Drain and rinse thoroughly.

In a large stainless steel pot, mix brine ingredients.  Head gradually, stirring constantly.  Increase heat once sugar dissolves.  Bring to boil.  Add veggies and heat for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Ladle hot veggies into sterilized jars.  Cover with syrup and maintain 1/2" headspace. Using a wooden skewer remove any air bubbles.  Add more syrup if needed.

Wipe rims.  Cover hot jars with lids.  Process pints & quarts 30 min @ 180-185 degrees
Happy Eating!

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