Learn to make Pickles and Relishes

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How to Make Pickles and Relishes

Part 7 of "How to Can Fruits and Veggies From Your Garden."

Make Pickles and Relishes
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Pickling has been around for a long, long time. In fact, it was one of the first forms of preserving food. Long ago, man discovered that by putting food in containers of salt or vinegar, food would be kept for longer periods of time. Salt and vinegar inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that causes food spoilage.

In pickling, your goal is to achieve a crisp, flavorful pickle, and to do this, you need salt. Not just any salt will do, however. You will need to use "canning or pickling" salt. You will not get the characteristic taste of a pickle if you use any other salt. Also, the pickles you make with regular salt will be cloudy.

When preparing cucumbers for pickling, you should choose small to medium-sized ones. Remove the blossom end from the cucumber and leave a portion of the stem on the small, whole cucumbers.

Pickling Equipment


Recipes for Making Pickles and Relishes

For your convienience, the recipes in this section will be divided into two parts:Recipes for Making Cucumber Pickles and Relishes andRecipes for making Pickles and Relishes With Various Fruits and Vegetables.

Recipes for Making Cucumber Pickles and Relishes:

Quick Dill Pickles:Wash cucumbers. Leave small 3-4 inch cucumbers whole with a 1/4 inch stem. Slice larger cucumbers. Soak cucumbers for 12 hours in a brine solution made of 1 cup salt to every 2 gallons of water. Drain. Fill jars with pickles adding 1 tsp. mustard seed and 2 heads of dill to each pint. Cover with boiling liquid made of 1 1/2 quarts vinegar, 1/2 c. salt, 1/4 c. sugar, 2 quarts of water, and 2 T. pickling spice. You may have to double the recipe for the liquid solution, depending on the amount of cucumbers you are using. Leaving 1/2-inch headspace, process pints 10 minutes and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. For a firmer pickle, you may also pasteurize these pickles by canning them as you would in a boiling-water canner, but maintaining the temperature at a low 180 degrees fahrenheit for a total of 30 minutes. (Use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature.)


Sweet Pickles: Wash cucumbers. Leave small 3-4 inch cucumbers whole with a 1/4 inch stem. Slice larger cucumbers. Sprinkle 1/2 C. salt on each 8 pounds of cucumbers and cover with ice. Place in refrigerator for four hours drain, and pack into jars. Pour boiling pickling syrup (made of 4 1/2 c. sugar, 3 1/2 c. vinegar, 1 T. celery seed, 1 T. whole allspice,and 2 T. mustard seed) over cucumbers. You may have to double the recipe for the liquid solution, depending on the amount of cucumbers you are using. Leaving 1/2-inch headspace, process pints 10 minutes and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. For a firmer pickle, you may also pasteurize these pickles by canning them as you would in a boiling-water canner, but maintaining the temperature at a low 180 degrees fahrenheit for a total of 30 minutes. (Use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature.)


Sweet Lime Pickles: Wash cucumbers. Leave small 3-4 inch cucumbers whole with a 1/4 inch stem. Slice larger cucumbers.In a large crock or suitable container,soak cucumbers for 12 hours in a lime solution made of 1 cup pickling lime and 1/2 c. salt to 1 gallon of water. If you have a particularly large batch of pickles, you may want to double the lime solution, or refer to the instructions on the pickling lime package. Remove pickles from lime solution, rinse well and soak in fresh water for one hour. Rinse and soak the cucumbers two more times. (They will have been rinsed three times and soaked three times.)Drain and pack into jars. Pour boiling pickling syrup (made of 4 1/2 c. sugar, 3 1/2 c. vinegar,1 T. celery seed, 1 T. whole allspice,and 2 T. mustard seed) over cucumbers. You may have to double the recipe for the liquid solution, depending on the amount of cucumbers you are using. Leaving 1/2-inch headspace, process pints 10 minutes and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. For a firmer pickle, you may also pasteurize these pickles by canning them as you would in a boiling-water canner, but maintaining the temperature at a low 180 degrees fahrenheit for a total of 30 minutes. (Use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature.)


Bread-and-Butter Pickles:Wash and slice 6 pounds cucumbers and 2 pounds onions. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. canning salt and cover with ice. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Drain and add to a boiling spice mixture of 4 1/2 c. sugar, 2 T. mustard seed, 2 T. celery seed, 1 T. turmeric, 1 quart vinegar, 1 t. peppercorns, and 1 t. ginger. Fill jars with cucumbers, onion and juice mixture. Leaving 1/2-inch headspace, process pints 10 minutes and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. For a firmer pickle, you may also pasteurize these pickles by canning them as you would in a boiling-water canner, but maintaining the temperature at a low 180 degrees fahrenheit for a total of 30 minutes. (Use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature.)


Lime Bread-and-Butter Pickles:Wash and slice 6 pounds cucumbers and 2 pounds onions. In a large crock or suitable container,soak cucumbers for 12 hours in a lime solution made of 1 cup pickling lime and 1/2 c. salt to 1 gallon of water,or for larger batches, refer to the instructions on the pickling lime package. Remove pickles from lime solution, rinse well and soak in fresh water for one hour. Rinse and soak the cucumbers two more times. (They will have been rinsed three times and soaked three times.)Drain and pack into jars. Drain and add to a boiling spice mixture of 4 1/2 c. sugar, 2 T. mustard seed, 2 T. celery seed, 1 T. turmeric, 1 quart vinegar, 1 t. peppercorns, and 1 t. ginger. Fill jars with cucumbers, onion and juice mixture. Leaving 1/2-inch headspace, process pints 10 minutes and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. For a firmer pickle, you may also pasteurize these pickles by canning them as you would in a boiling-water canner, but maintaining the temperature at a low 180 degrees fahrenheit for a total of 30 minutes. (Use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature.)


Pickle Relish:Wash and chop cucumbers. For every 3 quarts chopped cucumbers, add 6 cups chopped green peppers, 3/4 c. pickling salt and 1 c. chopped onions. Let stand four hours. Combine 4 t. each of turmeric, mustard seed, whole allspice, whole cloves,and 2 sticks of cinnamon in a spice bag. Add bag to boiling mixture of 2 c. sugar and 1 1/2 quarts white vinegar. Refrigerate overnight and bring to a boil and simmer until thoroughly heated. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process pints in boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.


Recipes for Making Pickles and Relishes With Various Fruits and Vegetables:

Pickled Beets:Leaving 1 inch of stem and the whole root, wash beets and cook until tender. Peel and slice. For every 7 pounds beets, add 6 sliced onions (optional.)Place in boiling mixture of 1 1/2 t. salt, 4 c. vinegar, 2 c. water, 2 c. sugar, 2 cinnamn sticks, and 1 t. whole cloves. Simmer. Fill jars with picked beets and onions,cover with liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints and quarts for 30 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Pickled Hot Peppers:Wash hot peppers. Wearing rubber gloves, slash whole peppers and quarter large ones. Blanch and peel. Fill jars and cover with boiling liquid (boiled 10 min.) made of 5 c. vinegar, 1 c. water, 4 t. salt, 2 T. sugar, and 3 cloves garlic.(You may wish to double the liquid recipe depending on the amount of peppers you are pickling.)Leave 1/2-inch headspace and process pints and quarts for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Pickled Banana Peppers:Wash long, yellow peppers. Make a slash in each pepper and soak overnight in a solution of salt water made out of 1-1/2 C. canning salt and 4 quarts water. Make a pickling liquid from 2 C. water, 1/4 C. sugar, 10 C. Vinegar, and 2 cloves of garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes; then remove garlic. While pickling liquid is simmering, rinse, drain, and pack peppers into hot jars. Pour hot liquid over pickles leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Process pints 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Green Tomato Relish:Wash and chop 10 pounds of green tomatoes. Add 3 pounds of chopped bell peppers and 2 pounds of chopped onions. Simmer tomatoes,peppers, and onions in water salted with 1/2 c. canning salt for 5 minutes. Drain and return to pan, adding 4 c. sugar, 1 quart vinegar, 2 T. mustard seed, and 1 T. celery seed. Boil for 5 minutes and fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Piccalilli:For every 1 quart of chopped cabbage, add 1 quart chopped green tomatoes, 4 chopped, green bell peppers, and 2 chopped onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. salt and let sit overnight. Drain and add to boiling liquid (boiled for 5 min.) made of 1 1/2 c. vinegar, 1 1/2 c. water, 2 c. brown sugar, 1 t. dry mustard, 1 t. turmeric, 1 t. celery seed. Bring to a boil and fill jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process pints for 10 min. in a boiling-water canner.


Watermelon Rind Pickles:Wash and remove all pink portions from watermelon rind. Cube and soak overnight in salt water made of 4 T. salt to every quart of water. Drain and cook until almost tender. Drain again and add to a previously boiled syrup(which has cooled for 15 minutes) made of 8 c. sugar, 4 c. vinegar, 8 t. whole cloves, 12 cinnamon sticks,and 1 t. mustard seed.(Tie spices in a spice bag.)Heat again, and cook until rinds are transparent. You may wish to add food coloring at this point to color the pickle. Fill jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process pints for 10 min. in a boiling-water canner.


Zucchini Relish:CHOP 20 medium-sized zucchini, and 6 large onions. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. canning salt and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight, rinse and drain. Prepare liquid of 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1 t. mustard seed, 2 t. celery seed and bring to a boil.Add vegetables and simmer for 10 min. Fill jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process pints for 10 min. in boiling-water canner.


Pickled Peaches:Peel 12 pounds of peaches and prevent them from darkening. In a spice bag, combine 6 sticks of cinnamon, 2 T. ground cloves, and 1 T. ginger.Add to 6 c. sugar, and 1 quart vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Cook peaches in pickling syrup until almost tender. Refrigerate peaches and syrup overnight. Bring to a boil and pack into jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 min. in a boiling-water canner.


Pickled Pears:Peel 12 pounds of pears and prevent them from darkening. In a spice bag, combine 6 sticks of cinnamon, 2 T. ground cloves, and 1 T. ginger.Add to 6 c. sugar, and 1 quart vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Cook pears in pickling syrup until almost tender. Refrigerate pears and syrup overnight. Bring to a boil and pack into jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Process pints for 20 min. in a boiling-water canner.




Other Links You May Find Helpful

Introduction on Canning Fruits and VegetablesPage 1 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about what you should know before you begin to can.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Pressure CannerPage 2 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This talks about canning vegetables using a pressure canner.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Boiling Water CannerPage 3 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden. This page talks about canning vegetables using a boiling water canner.

How to Can FruitPage 4 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about canning fruit.

How to Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 5 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about freezing basics and "how-to's."

How to Make Jams and Jellies Page 6 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about the tips and tricks of making homemade jams and jellies.

How to Make Pickles and RelishPage 7 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about pickling.

How to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 8 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetabes from Your Garden." This page talks about drying and lists dtying times for fruits and vegetables.

How to Make lye Soap and Other Homemade Concoctions Page 9 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about making lye soap and other old-fashioned, homemade concoctions and remedies.

Home Processing Troubleshooting GuidePage 10 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page answers your questions about canning and freezing garden produce.

Other Home Canning Links This site lists other links that you may find helpful.