Monday, August 17, 2009

Kitchen Experiments: Pickle Edition, Update

My 9-day pickles turned out really, really well. I finally canned them last night, and there were just four pickles that didn't fit into the jars. They were delicious. I'm not quite sure what texture they should ideally have, so I don't know if they were the *perfect* pickles or not, but I'm definitely looking forward to eating the ones I canned.

That said, it's a lot of work for just four pints of pickles. There's not a lot of hands-on time, but having a daily task for over a week was a little much. If I don't find another sweet pickle recipe I like as well, I'll double or triple the batch next time to get more bang for my canning buck. I feel like a basic bread-n-butter pickle recipe shouldn't be too hard to find, but we'll see.

ETA: I just realised that my old post didn't have the recipe in it. Here it is:

Nine-Day Icicle Pickles

adapted from Small-Batch Preserving

  • 2 quarts pickling cucumbers
  • 4 C boiling water
  • 1/2 C pickling salt
  • 2 C white vinegar
  • 3 C sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp pickling spice
Day 1: Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber, then cut into length-wise quarters. Cut each quarter in half. (You'll end up with little half-spear pickles.) Place in a large non-reactive container (I used the pot part of a spaghetti pot). Combine boiling water and salt; pour over cucumbers. Place something on the cukes to keep them submerged (I used the strainer insert from the spaghetti pot).
Days 2-3: Stir once a day.
Days 4-5: On both days, drain the cukes, discarding liquid. Cover them with fresh boiling water.
Day 6: Prepare a brine: combine vinegar and 1.5 C of the sugar in a non-reactive saucepan. Put the pickling spice into a large tea ball or tie in cheesecloth; add to pan. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Drain the cukes, discarding liquid. Cover with boiling brine. (You can throw out the spices at this point.)
Days 7-8: On both days, drain the brine into a large saucepan over high heat. Add 1/2 C sugar and bring to a boil. Pour over the pickles.
Day 9: Once again, drain the brine into a large saucepan over high heat. Add 1/2 C sugar and bring to a boil. Then, pack the pickles into your hot & sanitized canning jars. Pour the hot brine over the pickles, leaving 1/2" headspace. Process 10 min in a boiling water canner.
yield: about 4 pint jars

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