Relish the Taste of Summer With Easy Homemade Pickling
Is it possible to extend the fresh flavors of summer just a little longer? In days past, the solution was pickling and canning vegetables, like corn and cucumbers, that peak during the warm weather months.
While today’s busy schedules don’t leave much time for old-fashioned pickling, refrigerator pickling is an easy way to capture summer in a jar. Preparation time is just 20 minutes and the taste is so authentic, people will swear you spent all day in the kitchen. Anyone can do it and no special equipment is needed.
Simply place uncooked, fresh vegetables into sterile jars. Prepare a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and spices and bring to a boil. Then pour the boiling pickling liquid over the produce, close the jar lids tightly, and place in the refrigerator. Your pickled produce will last two months.
The flavor experts at McCormick offer these tips to ensure refrigerator pickling success:
* Sterilize jars by covering with water in a large saucepot and boiling for 10 minutes.
* Always start with just-ripened produce that is free from bruises or bad spots.
* Dill, mustard seed, turmeric, red pepper, allspice, celery seed and mixed pickling spice are perfect flavors for pickling.
* Use non-iodized salt. Iodized salt may leave white sediment on pickles or cause clouding of pickling liquid.
* Vinegar and salt amounts should never be reduced or diluted because they are essential for the pickling process.
* Allow filled jars to cool before placing in refrigerator.
SWEET AND EASY
(Makes 8 half-pint jars)
2 pounds pickling cucumbers
(4 to 5 inches long)
2 1/2 cups distilled white
vinegar (5 percent acidity)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup McCormick Minced
2 tablespoons non-iodized salt
1 tablespoon McCormick
1 tablespoon McCormick
1 teaspoon McCormick
Wash cucumbers with cold water. Cut off ends and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place slices into 8 hot sterilized half-pint canning jars with lids or 4 pint jars with lids.
Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Ladle over cucumbers, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Stir each jar well. Cool. Place lids on jars. Refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings and blend flavors.