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  1. 1. B2267University of Wisconsin-Extension Cooperative ExtensionWisconsin Safe FoodPreservation Series Homemade Pickles & Relishes Barbara H. Ingham
  2. 2. Contents hen your garden yields a Both types of pickles are preservedFermented picklesFresh pack or quick process picklesRefrigerator pickles 1 Pickle recipes 2 2 Fermented or crock pickles Brines for fermented pickles 15 15 16 W surplus of fresh produce, or when the farm stand has prices too low to resist, then it’s time by acid. The acid may be: ■ acetic acid from commercial vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) —Freezer pickles 2 Fermented pickle recipe 18 to make pickles. Follow the research- used in fresh pack or quickUse high quality ingredients 3 Fresh pack and quick process tested recipes in this bulletin for safe process pickles and relishes — or Vegetables and fruits 3 recipes 20 and easy preparation and preserva- ■ lactic acid produced by bacteria Start with the right ingredients 4 Vegetable pickle recipes 27 tion of your garden bounty. in fermented or crock pickles. Water 5 Fruit pickle recipes 34 Pickling is one of the oldest known Vinegar 5 Relish recipes 36 methods of preserving foods, and a Salt 6 Refrigerator pickle recipes 40 long-time favorite among home Fermented pickles Freezer pickle recipes 42 canners. While cucumbers are the Fermented pickles — also called Use the right amount of salt 7 most popular pickled product, many crock pickles — are produced by Weigh salt for best accuracy 7 Family favorite pickle recipes 45 other vegetables and fruits can be curing cucumbers or other vegeta- Sugar 8 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation bles in a salt brine for several weeks. Series publications 48 successfully pickled at home. Spices, garlic and dill 8 To the inexperienced person, pickling During this treatment, salt-tolerant Grape leaves 9 Web sites 48 may seem to be a complex proce- bacteria convert carbohydrates Firming agents 9 Recipe index (sugars) in the vegetables into lactic dure, laden with mysterious stepsEquipment for fermented and unknown outcomes. In fact, you acid by a process known as fermen- or crock pickles 10 can make safe, high quality pickles if tation. Lactic acid preserves theEquipment for all pickles 11 you remember two basic rules: pickles and gives them their charac-Processing in a boiling water teristic tangy flavor. 1. Use high quality ingredients. canner 12 The salt concentration is very impor- Sterilizing jars 12 2. Follow tested recipes precisely. tant in this process, and is necessary Headspace 14 The recipes in this bulletin tell you to encourage growth of the rightWhen jars fail to seal 14 how to make two different types of types of bacteria. For this reason, you pickles for canning: fermented or will want to use the exact amountAlternative low-temperature pasteurization process 14 crock pickles, and of salt stated in each recipe. fresh pack or Cucumbers fermented in salt brine quick process without added herbs or spices are pickles and called salt stock. They may be stored relishes. in the brine for several months and then made into sour or sweet pickles. Cucumbers fermented in salt brine with added dill, spices and garlic make genuine dill pickles. When completely cured, the cucumber University of Wisconsin-Extension Cooperative Extension, 2002 HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 1
  3. 3. flesh becomes a transparent olive-green. The cured dills are packed in Use the exact amount of vinegar stated in each recipe, or an unsafe You can make many types Use high qualitycanning jars, covered with boiling product may result. Salt or sugar of delicious pickles. ingredientshot brine, and heat processed in a can be decreased in fresh pack Fermented picklesboiling water canner for a product pickles with safe results, but pickles are produced by Vegetables and fruitsthat can be enjoyed all year long. may lack some characteristic flavor Select fresh, firm, high quality veg- and texture. fermenting cucum- etables and fruits for pickling. Discard bers or other vegetables in a salt brineFresh pack or quick for several weeks. During fermentation bruised, moldy or insect-damagedprocess pickles Refrigerator pickles or curing, bacteria convert sugars in produce. Some pickle recipes that call for Grow or purchase varieties of cucum-Many popular kinds of pickles are enough vinegar (5 percent acetic the vegetables into lactic acid, which bers that are designed for pickling.known as fresh pack or quick acid) can be stored safely in the preserves the pickles and gives them Pickling cucumbers suited forprocess pickles. Fresh pack pickles refrigerator at 40° F or colder for up their characteristic tangy flavor. Wisconsin include Arkansas Littleare not fermented. Instead, a hot to 1 month. Leaf H-19, Bush Pickle, Calypso,solution of vinegar and salt (and Fresh pack or quick process pickles are These pickles do not require heat Carolina, County Fair 83, Liberty,sometimes sugar) is prepared and quick and easy to prepare. Vegetables Pioneer, Regal and Wisconsin SMR-18 processing, but they must be keptpoured over the pickles before they or fruits are packed in jars, covered and SMR-58. Using varieties of refrigerated. Do not decrease theare processed. Pickles prepared in with a hot vinegar solution, and imme- cucumbers designed for pickling will amount of vinegar in these recipes,this way include fresh pack dill yield a high quality product. an unsafe product may result. diately heat processed. Also in thispickles, bread-and-butter pickles, and category are pickles prepared from Although pickling cucumbers makebeet pickles. good gherkin pickles at 1 to 2 inches,Also in this category are: Freezer pickles fruits such as peaches, pears or apples simmered in a spicy, sweet-sour syrup, pickles are more typically made from If you like to make sweet pickles — cucumbers that are 3 to 5 inches■ Fruit pickles prepared from fruits and want to make them quickly and packaged and processed. Relishes are such as peaches, pears or apples long. You can leave them whole, or in the coolest possible way — try prepared from chopped vegetables or slice them lengthwise into spears or simmered in a spicy, sweet-sour making freezer pickles. fruits simmered in a vinegar solution crosswise into slices or chunks. syrup. For some reason, cucumber and before being heat processed. When cucumbers grow longer than■ Relishes prepared from chopped other vegetable slices packed in 5 inches, they are best chopped and vegetables or fruits simmered in Refrigerator or freezer pickles can be vinegar and sugar remain crisp when made into relish. Fresh-eating vinegar solutions. prepared without heat processing. frozen. Freezer pickles taste best if “slicing” varieties and ‘‘burpless’’After jars are filled, fresh pack pickles chilled. Once thawed, these pickles Cucumbers and other vegetables areare processed in a boiling water cucumbers can be used in relishes or must be kept refrigerated for use packed in a strong vinegar and sugarcanner. Such pickles are preserved by for quick process bread-and-butter within 2 weeks. solution for storage in the refrigerator pickles, but are not suitable for fer-the acetic acid in the added vinegar, or freezer. mented pickles or fresh pack dilland the heat processing. Followtested recipes precisely. pickles.2 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 3
  4. 4. Wax-coated cucumbers bought from Start with the Water To prepare safe,supermarkets are not suitable for Softened water is recommended forpickling because of varietal qualities, right ingredients making pickles and relishes. Hard high qualityand because the pickling solution water usually contains lime — pickles, use Select fresh, firm,cannot penetrate the wax coating. calcium hydroxide — that may: softened water, undiluted commercial high quality veg-For best quality, pickle fruits or veg- decrease acidity, resulting in an white or cider vinegar, canning and etables and fruits ■etables within 24 hours of harvest, or unsafe product, and pickling salt and whole spices. for pickling. Varieties recommendedrefrigerate for no more than a few for Wisconsin can be found in these ■ contain iron, magnesium or Never use homemade vinegar indays. This is particularly important for publications, available from your sulfur compounds that can making pickles, or vinegar that hascucumbers because they deteriorate cause discoloration or off-flavors.rapidly, and if stored for too long will county UW-Extension office or been diluted, unless specified in thenot make a quality product. Cooperative Extension Publications at If you use hard water, you can recipe. Otherwise, an unsafe product remove some of these minerals:Just before pickling, sort fruits and the address on the back cover: may result.vegetables for uniform size accord- ■ Boil the water for 15 minutes in a Apple Cultivars for Wisconsin A2105 Firming agents such as calciuming to recipe directions. Wash care- large kettle, then let the waterfully, especially around the stems. Soil Disease-Resistant Vegetables for the stand in the kettle for 24 hours. chloride, calcium hydroxide (lime) andtrapped near the stem can be a Home Garden A3110 aluminum (alum) are not necessary for ■ After 24 hours, pour off the watersource of bacteria that can cause Growing Pumpkins and Other Vine carefully, leaving sediment in the pickling, and using them may result inpickles to soften. Crops in Wisconsin A3688 kettle. an unsafe product. The use of theseDiscard floating or damaged cucum- Harvesting Vegetables from the Home Vinegar compounds is not recommended.bers, and fruits or vegetables that are Garden A2727 Use commercial vinegar that is stan-over-ripe or damaged. Home Fruit Cultivars for Northern Apple cider vinegar can be a good dardized at a 5 percent acetic acidRemove all blossoms, and cut a 1⁄ 16- Wisconsin A2488 choice for many pickles. Its mellow, content. Use the type of vinegar theinch slice from the blossom end of fruity taste blends well with other Home Fruit Cultivars for Southern recipe calls for, either white vinegarvegetables and discard. The blossoms flavors. But cider vinegar darkens Wisconsin A2582 or cider vinegar. If the recipe doescontain enzymes that can cause soft- most vegetables and fruits. Vegetable Cultivars and Planting Guide not specify a particular vinegar, useening and result in an unacceptable any of the following commercial Apple cider flavored distilled for Wisconsin Gardens A1653product. vinegars of 5 percent acetic acid. vinegar looks and tastes like apple cider vinegar, but is made by adding White vinegar has a mellow aroma apple cider flavoring to white dis- and tart acid flavor, and maintains tilled vinegar. Use this as you would the appearance of light-colored veg- use apple cider vinegar. etables or fruits. Many recipes specify white vinegar to ensure uniform flavor and attractive color.4 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 5
  5. 5. Do not dilute vinegar unless the Kosher pure flaked salt requires Plain table salt, iodized table saltrecipe specifies. An unsafe product special care if used for pickling. Use the right and sea salt are not recommendedmay result. If you want a less sour Flaked salt weighs less per volume amount of salt for pickling. Table salt contains anti-product, add sugar rather than using than canning and pickling salt, so caking ingredients that make the Recipes in this pub-less vinegar. Vinegar also loses you need about 50 percent more — pickling solution cloudy and leave lication call forstrength as you boil it, so follow 11⁄2 cups of flaked salt equals about sediment at the bottom of the jar.recipe instructions precisely. 1 cup of canning and pickling salt. canning and Iodine may also darken pickles, in pickling salt. If you use other pure salt addition to producing a cloudy brine.Do not use homemade vinegar in If you use Kosher salt for fermentedmaking pickles. The acetic acid pickles, you must weigh out the such as Kosher salt or dairy salt for If you find you must use table salt,content of homemade vinegar is proper amount. Weigh out 73⁄4 making fermented pickles, weigh salt sea salt or salt substitutes forhighly variable and may be too low ounces (220 grams) of flaked salt, to equal each cup of canning and pickling, use these only for freshto ensure safety. and you will have the equivalent of pickling salt. For the same weight, pack or quick process pickles.Vinegar may naturally contain 1 cup of canning and pickling salt. measures will vary (see chart below). Avoid using these for fermentedsediment in the bottom of the bottle. Kosher salt is more expensive than pickles. The potassium chloride in Plain or iodized table salt, sea salt, salt substitutes cannot substitute forYou can remove the sediment by canning and pickling salt, and maystraining the vinegar through double be harder to find. reduced-sodium salts and salt substi- sodium chloride in the brines for fer-layers of cheesecloth. Avoid using a tutes may be used for making fresh mented pickles. Dairy salt used in making cheesemetal strainer, as it may darken the can also be used in making pickles, pack or quick process pickles, but may Ice cream salt, rock salt and solarvinegar. since it is pure salt. For best accuracy, not yield a quality product. Ice cream salt should not be used for pickling. weigh out 73⁄4 ounces (220 grams) of salt, rock salt and solar salt are not These salts are not considered food-Salt dairy salt per cup of salt in a recipe. considered food-grade and should not grade, and contain impurities thatCanning and pickling salt — pure No other adjustments in the recipe can cause discoloration or other be used for pickling.granulated salt — is recommended are necessary. defects in pickled products.for use in all kinds of pickles. This salt Reduced-sodium (‘‘light’’) saltsdoes not contain anti-caking agents may be used in fresh pack or quickor iodine, and is available in most process pickles only, but maysupermarkets. Recipes in this booklet change the flavor. For best results,call for canning and pickling salt. use tested recipes designed to be Weigh salt for best accuracyNever alter salt concentrations in lower in sodium.fermented pickles. Proper fermen- Type of salt Weight equivalent Measuretation depends on correct propor- Canning and pickling salt (Morton®)* 73⁄4 oz. (220 g.) 1 cuptions of salt and other ingredients. Kosher flaked salt (Diamond Crystal®)* 73⁄4 oz. (220 g.) 11⁄2 cups * Reference to products is not intended to endorse them, nor to exclude others that may be similar. If you use these products, follow the manufacturer’s current label directions. oz. = ounce g. = gram6 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 7
  6. 6. Sugar Dill heads — fresh green-seeded Grape leaves Use of a firming agent is no longerEither white granulated sugar or heads of the dill plant — are best for Grape leaves have historically been recommended. Nevertheless, abrown sugar can be used in pickle making dill pickles. used in fermented pickles. People number of firming agents have beenrecipes, depending on your prefer- If dill is ready before cucumbers are found that if they placed grape used in pickle recipes over the years.ence and the product color you in season, store it in the freezer as leaves in the crock or brine during These are mentioned here only todesire. follows: fermentation, cucumbers were less describe the conditions under which likely to soften. they might be safely used.Some honey could be used in ■ Cut fresh dill heads, wash ifmaking the sweet-sour syrup for fruit needed, shake off excess Researchers later discovered that Most firming agents provide calcium,pickles. But substitute sparingly — moisture, and allow to air dry for grape leaves contain varying which combines with natural pectintoo much honey can mask fruit an hour. amounts of a natural inhibitor that in vegetables and fruit to formflavor. reduces the effect of a softening calcium pectate, giving the pickles a ■ Place dill heads in a heavy food- enzyme found on moldy cucumber firmer texture.Sugar substitutes (artificial sweet- grade plastic bag, seal, label andeners) are not recommended in freeze. blossoms. Food-grade calcium chloride ispickling because the heat processing If you remove the blossom end available at some home canning You can also hold early dill by placingrequired may cause a bitter flavor. before soaking cucumbers in brine, supply stores. Use at a rate of no freshly washed heads in a large clean you do not need to use grape leaves more than: jar and covering the heads with undi-Spices, garlic and dill luted commercial white or cider as a firming agent. Gently wash ■ 1 teaspoon per gallon of picklingMost pickle recipes call for whole vinegar (5 percent acetic acid). Cover cucumbers and then trim a thin slice solution in fresh pack pickles.spices for fresher and more concen- the jar and keep it in a cool place (1⁄16 inch) from the blossom end and ■ 1 teaspoon per gallon of brine intrated flavor than ground spices. until you are ready to make dill discard. fermented pickles.Spices deteriorate and lose their pickles. Use the dill-flavored vinegar Calcium hydroxide — also calledpungency in heat and humidity. with the dill heads as you make fresh Firming agents pickling lime or slaked lime — isStore any unused spices in an air- pack dill pickles later on. If you use freshly picked cucumbers, available at some supermarkets ortight container in a cool place. Fresh dill leaves, dried leaves (dill follow an up-to-date tested recipe, through home and garden catalogs.To keep spices from discoloring weed) or dried dill seeds can be and heat process pickles for the Do not use agricultural or burntpickles, tie them in a cheesecloth bag used if fresh dill heads are not correct length of time, pickles will lime, this is not food-grade.before adding to the pickling solution. available. turn out crisp and you won’t need to Food-grade pickling lime can beAfter simmering in the pickling add firming agents. Try this substitution: 1 tablespoon safely used only if you follow eachsolution, remove the spice bag. of dried dill seed or weed equals A safe alternative for making crisp of these three rules:Garlic should be mature and free about one fresh dill head. pickles is to soak cucumbers in ice 1. Lime is used as a lime-waterfrom dark spots or discoloration. water for 4 to 5 hours before solution as an initial soak forSeparate the bulb into cloves. Tap pickling. fresh cucumbers 12 to 24 hourseach clove with a knife to easily before pickling them. It must notloosen and peel off the thin papery be added to the final brine orskin. pickling solution.8 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 9
  7. 7. 2. Lime is added at a rate of no more than 2 tablespoons per Equipment Another method for sealing a crock is Canning jars and lids — Standard to fill a heavy-duty food-grade plastic home canning jars are recom- gallon of water in the soaking for fermented bag with 2 to 3 inches of brine, seal mended for pickled products. solution. the bag, and place it on the top of However, because the processing3. Excess lime absorbed by or crock pickles the crock, allowing it to completely time for pickles is short, glass jars cucumbers is removed by Container for brining pickles — cover the surface of the brine. Filling used to pack commercial products rinsing. To remove excess lime, Use a clean container, usually 2 to 5 the bag with brine is a precaution, insuch as mayonnaise can be used — drain the lime-water solution, gallons in size. Any of the following case the bags are accidentally punc- but only if standard two-piece rinse and then cover the cucum- would be an appropriate container: tured. canning lids fit their threaded rims. bers in fresh water. Soak in water ■ Crock or stone jar free of chips Caution: Do not use plastic garbage Do not reuse jars from commercial for 1 hour. Repeat rinsing and and with a good glaze on the bags for food storage. The chemicals food products that are designed for soaking two more times. interior surface used to manufacture non-food-grade one-time use, such as peanut butter, plastic containers and bags may not jelly, canned vegetables or pickles.Caution: To make safe pickles, excess ■ Heavy food-grade plastic con- be safe for food. Most recipes call for pint or quartlime absorbed by cucumbers must tainer in which food products jars. Use only the size jar specified inbe rinsed off thoroughly after were originally packed, including each recipe. Safe processing timessoaking. Do not add lime to thepickling solution, use only as an plastic ice cream buckets and pails — If you are not sure Equipment may not have been calculated for larger jars. If you use 11⁄2 pint jars,initial soak. Lime does not dissolve whether a plastic container is safe for all pickles process them as if they were quarts.well in water, and may be slightly for food, read its label or contact Container for heating picklingcaustic (sting). Handle with care. the manufacturer. Another option solution — Use a large stainless Lids — Use new two-piece vacuumAvoid inhaling lime dust while is to line the questionable con- steel, aluminum or unchipped enam- seal lids, consisting of a flat metal lidmixing the lime-water solution. Keep tainer with several thicknesses of elware pan or kettle for heating the with sealing compound and aout of reach of children. food-grade plastic bags. pickling solution. Do not use copper, reusable metal screw band. Pretreat brass, galvanized steel or iron con- lids as the package directs.Aluminum, found in alum, also ■ Stainless steel or glass containercombines with natural pectin to firm — Do not use copper, brass, gal- tainers or utensils. These metals react Caution: Porcelain-lined zinc capsthe pickles’ texture. While alum has vanized steel or iron containers or with acids or salt, discoloring pickles and rubber rings have not beenlong been used in home pickle utensils. These metals react with or forming dangerous compounds. made for years, and are not recom-making, it can give pickles an objec- acids or salt, discoloring pickles or Measuring equipment — Use mended.tionable bitter or astringent flavor. forming dangerous compounds. standard cup and spoon measures Boiling water canner — A boilingAlum is not recommended and is Cover and weight — A large glass or for all liquid or dry ingredients. water canner is a large kettle with anot included in the recipes in this china plate that will fit inside the Kitchen scales are needed if recipes tight-fitting cover and a rack to keepbulletin. If you choose to use alum, container is suitable for holding veg- specify quantities of ingredients by jars from resting on the bottom. Theuse it only for fermented cucum- etables beneath the brine. Weigh it weight, or if you substitute Kosher canner should be deep enough forbers. Alum does not work with fresh down by placing a sealed, water- flaked salt for canning and pickling water to cover the tops of the jars bypack or quick process pickles. filled jar on top of the plate. The veg- salt. 1 or 2 inches without boiling over. etables should be covered by 1 to 2 The diameter of the canner should inches of brine. be no more than 4 inches wider than the diameter of your stove’s burner10 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 11
  8. 8. to ensure proper heat treatment forall jars. Do not use a large wash kettle Processing in a boiling 3. Pack hot jars with vegetables or fruit. Fill one jar at a time with the 6. Put the cover on the canner. When the water returns to a fullthat fits over two burners because water canner pickle product — with raw rolling boil, start counting thethe middle jars may not get enough Except for refrigerator or freezer cucumber for fresh pack dills, or processing time. Processing timesheat. pickles, pickle products require heat with a heated pickle product. Do in this publication are safe for allA deep pressure canner can be used treatment after jars are filled to not pack too tightly. Immediately Wisconsin a boiling water canner. Just be sure obtain a safe, high quality product. fill the jar with a boiling hot 7. When the processing time isthe canner is deep enough to allow Heat processing seals jars and pickling solution, leaving the complete, carefully remove jarsfor 1 to 2 inches of briskly boiling destroys harmful organisms and proper amount of headspace from the canner, without tilting,water above the jar lids. Fill the enzymes that can cause spoilage, between the top of the liquid and and place them upright on a rackpressure canner with hot water, add softening or off-flavors. the top of the jar (see illustration or counter. Do not cover the jarsjars and enough water to cover them For adequate heating, process in a on page 14). When canning during cooling. Do not retightenby 1 to 2 inches, and place the lid on pickles and relishes, most recipes the bands on two-piece lids, even boiling water canner for the correctthe canner. But do not lock the lid in call for 1⁄2-inch headspace. though they may be loose. If length of, and leave the petcock open or 4. Remove air bubbles by sliding a liquid has boiled out during pro- Follow these steps for processingweighted pressure control off. rubber spatula or bubble freer cessing, do not remove the lid to pickles and relishes in a boiling waterOther equipment you may need — canner: between the food and the sides add more. As the jars cool, the lidsCandy or jelly thermometer (if you of the jar in several places. Add will snap down in the center. 1. Pretreat two-piece lids as the hot brine or pickling solution aspasteurize pickles), bowls, mixing 8. When jars have cooled, test for package directs. needed to adjust headspace tospoons, timer, jar-filling supplies seal. Lid tops should be(funnel, ladle, rubber spatula, lid and 2. Thoroughly wash and rinse jars. recommended level. Wipe jar rims depressed and remain that way,jar lifters), pot holders, wire rack, Keep them hot until you fill them. with a clean, damp cloth or towel. and will ring when tapped with alabeling supplies. If you have a dishwasher, run Place the lid on the jar. Screw the spoon. After 24 hours or when them through a complete cycle metal band on firmly, but not too jars are cool, you can carefully and keep them hot in the dish- tight. remove the screw bands. Wash washer. 5. Place filled jars in a boiling water and dry the jar lids and threads. Sterilizing jars canner that has sufficient very Store jars without screw bands in If the recipe calls for a short process- hot water (140˚ to 170˚ F) in it to a cool, dry place out of direct ing time — less than 10 minutes — cover the jars and lids by at least sunlight for up to 1 year. wash jars in warm, soapy water, and 1 inch. Add boiling water carefully rinse. Sterilize jars by boiling for around jars if needed to bring the 10 minutes. Keep hot until filled. water level in the canner to 1 to 2 inches above the jar lids. Do not Recipes for refrigerator pickles are pour boiling water directly on jar not heat processed, and jars must lids. also be sterilized by boiling for 10 minutes before filling.12 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 13
  9. 9. When jars fail to seal Alternative Pickle recipes Fermented or crock picklesIf any jars fail to seal, refrigerate the Hundreds of pickle recipes can be Fermented pickles — like Grandmajars and consume the pickles or relish low-temperature found in cookbooks and reference used to make in a crock — use bene- ficial bacteria naturally present towithin 1 week. pasteurization process books published by canning equip- ment makers — but not all are tested convert cucumbers into pickles.You can also reprocess pickles and Low-temperature pasteurization can to ensure safety. The recipes in this Beneficial or “good” bacteria producerelishes within 24 hours: produce a better pickle texture, but publication are tested to ensure both the acid that gives these pickles their■ Remove the contents of the jars. must be done very carefully to avoid safety and quality. Follow recipes pre- familiar taste — and also preserve spoilage and is only acceptable for■ Reheat the pickling solution or cisely, adding the proper proportions them so they can be processed and certain recipes. brine to boiling. of ingredients, and processing the stored in a jar for up to 1 year. Fill jars with room temperature pickles. final product for the correct length of■ Repack into clean, hot jars leaving Cucumbers or other vegetables are Pour 165° to 180° F liquid over the time. proper headspace, remove fermented in a salt brine for several product, leaving the appropriate head- bubbles, wipe jar rims clean and In many cases, you can make slight weeks to prepare these pickles. space. Remove bubbles with a rubber cap with new pretreated lids. adjustments in spices. But be sure to Do not alter the amount of salt in spatula.Wipe the jars clean and adjust■ Process in a boiling water lids. keep proportions of vegetables or fermented pickles. Salt concentra- canner for the full length of fruit, vinegar and water unchanged, tion is very important in fermenta- Process at 180˚ F for 30 minutes. and preparation steps intact. time. tion. Be sure to use a thermometer. For fermented pickles, you must also ■ Too little salt will allow spoilage- Caution: Use this process only when add the exact proportion of salt causing microbes to grow. a recipe indicates (see sweet pickle called for in each recipe. recipes, pages 22-25). ■ Too much salt will slow the Follow heat processing instructions growth of desirable lactic acid-Headspace accurately to produce safe, high producing bacteria. quality pickles. Follow the steps on Accurately measure salt and water lid pages 12-13 for safe processing. for pickle brine. If you substitute headspace Kosher flaked or dairy salt for canning and pickling salt, weigh out level of liquid salt to make sure you have substi- tuted the correct amount: 1 cup canning and pickling salt weighs 73⁄4 ounces (220 grams). See “Weigh salt for best accuracy” chart on page 7. Reprinted with permission from Complete Guide to Home Canning. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture), 1994: Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 15
  10. 10. The chart below lists the proportions During fermentation, cucumbersof canning and pickling salt and must be kept beneath the surface of The recipes in thiswater required for various brine the brine. A plate weighed down with bulletin call forstrengths. a water-filled jar or a heavy-duty canning andWhen cucumbers are placed in brine, food-grade plastic bag filled with pickling salt. If you substitute Kosherthey lose water and weight and brine can keep the vegetables sub- flaked salt, for best accuracy weighbecome somewhat flexible or merged. 73⁄4 ounces (220 grams) Kosher saltrubbery. Complete curing will take from 4 to 8 per cup of canning and pickling salt.As cucumbers soak in the brine, they weeks, depending on the tempera-gradually absorb salt and become ture during fermentation. For fresh pack or quick process picklesfirm, crisp and tender. More salt is Good quality pickles may be only, you may use plain or iodizedadded during brining to keep the produced when the crock is stored table salt, sea salt, reduced-sodiumbrine strong enough. between 70˚ and 75° F. Temperatures salt or salt substitutes. But using theseProperly fermented cucumbers will of 55˚ to 65° F are also acceptable, may not yield a quality product. Icebreak when you bend them, and may but fermentation will take longer. cream salt, rock salt and solar saltgain weight as they absorb salt water. Avoid temperatures above 80˚ F, should not be used in any pickleThey will absorb sugar, vinegar and because pickles will become soft and recipe. These salts are not consideredflavorings more readily than will fresh may spoil. food-grade, and may be unsafe to use.cucumbers. The color inside cured After fermentation is complete,cucumbers is a uniform translucent pickles should be heat processed in a Note:olive-green, in contrast with opaque boiling water canner. Canned fer- g. = gramwhite fresh cucumber flesh. mented pickles can be stored on the lb. = pound shelf for up to 1 year. oz. = ounceBrines for fermented pickles tbsp. = tablespoon tsp. = teaspoonBrine strength Proportion of 1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups% salt salt and water Use5% 3⁄ 4 cup (5.8 oz. or 164 g.) Short-term brining of salt per gallon of water cucumbers, green tomatoes, green snap beans10% 11⁄2 cups (11.6 oz. or 329 g.) Starting concentration salt per gallon of water for brining cucumbers and cauliflower15% 21⁄4 cups (19.2 oz. or 544 g.) Final brine strength for salt per gallon of water cucumbers and cauliflower oz. = ounce g. = gram16 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 17
  11. 11. FERMENTED PICKLE RECIPE FERMENTED PICKLE RECIPEDill pickles 4. Use a weight to hold the plate Some people dislike the flavor and down and keep the cucumbers cloudiness of the fermentation brine,4 lbs. pickling cucumbers, under the brine. Cover the crock and prefer to prepare fresh brine for 3 to 6 inches long loosely with a clean cloth. Keep canning.4 to 5 heads fresh or dry dill weed, pickles at room temperature (70˚ to 75° F). Temperatures of 55˚ to 65˚ F To make fresh brine: or 2 tbsp. dill seed are acceptable, but then fermenta- Add 1⁄2 cup salt and 1 quart vinegar1⁄ 2 cup canning and pickling salt tion will take 5 to 6 weeks. Avoid (5% acetic acid) to 1 gallon water.1⁄ 4 cup vinegar (5% acetic acid) temperatures above 80˚ F, or Heat to boiling, and simmer for pickles will become too soft during 5 minutes.8 cups water fermentation. Do not stir picklesOne or more of the following: around in the container, but be sure 7. Pack the fermented pickles and they are completely covered with some of the dill into clean, hot2 tsp. whole mixed pickling spice brine. If necessary, make more brine quart jars. Do not pack too tightly. (optional) Add a fresh garlic clove to each jar, using the original proportions.2 garlic cloves, peeled (optional) Remove scum daily. Most scum can if desired. Cover with hot brine, be avoided if you use a brine-filled leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace.2 dried red peppers (optional) bag to seal the crock. See page 16. Remove bubbles with a rubber1. Wash cucumbers, and drain on a spatula. Wipe jar rims with a clean, rack or wipe dry. Handle gently to Caution: If the pickles become damp cloth. avoid bruising. Trim 1⁄ 16 inch from soft or slimy, or develop a dis- agreeable odor, discard them. 8. Cap jars with pretreated lids. the blossom end and discard. But Adjust lids. leave 1⁄ 4-inch stem attached. Place 5. In about 3 weeks, the cucumbers will have become olive green and 9. Process in a boiling water canner: half of dill and spices on the should have a desirable flavor. 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes bottom of a clean crock or a con- for quarts. tainer of glass or food-grade plastic. 6. Once the fermentation is complete, Add cucumbers, remaining dill, and heat process pickles for storage. To Note: This recipe requires about 3 spices. process fermented dill pickles, drain weeks for the cucumbers to ferment2. Mix the vinegar and water the pickles, collecting the fermenta- when the crock is stored at 70˚ to together. Add salt and stir to tion brine. Strain the fermentation 75° F. dissolve. Pour the vinegar and salt brine through a double layer of cheesecloth or paper coffee filters Yield: 9 to 10 quarts mixture over cucumbers.3. Cover with a heavy plate or lid that fits inside the crock or container. into a large pan. Heat to boiling, and simmer for 5 minutes. o18 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 19
  12. 12. FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPES FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPESBread-and-butter Or: Dill pickles, quick process 4. Pack cucumbers into clean, hot pintpickle slices For firmer pickles: Wash cucum- or quart jars, leaving 1⁄2-inch head- 8 lbs. pickling cucumbers, bers or squash carefully. Trim 1⁄16 space. If desired, add 1 teaspoon6 lbs. pickling cucumbers, inch from the blossom end and 3 to 5 inches long mustard seed, 11⁄2 fresh dill heads 4 to 5 inches long, or discard. Cut into 3⁄16-inch slices. Mix 2 gallons water and 1 or 2 garlic cloves per jar. slender zucchini or yellow squash 1 cup pickling lime, 1⁄2 cup salt and 3⁄ 4 cups canning and pickling salt Cover cucumbers with hot pickling (1 to 11⁄2 inches in diameter) 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon solution, leaving 1⁄2-inch head- crock, glass or enamelware con- Pickling solution: space. Remove bubbles with a8 cups onions (about 3 pounds), tainer. Caution: Avoid inhaling 11⁄2 quarts vinegar (5% acetic acid) rubber spatula. Wipe jar rims with a peeled and thinly sliced lime dust while mixing the lime- clean, damp cloth. 1⁄ 2 cup canning and pickling salt1⁄ 2 cup canning and pickling salt water solution. Cover and soak 5. Cap jars with pretreated lids. 1⁄ 4 cup sugar cucumbers in lime-water solution Adjust lids.Crushed or cubed ice for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasion- 2 quarts water 6. Process in a boiling water canner:1 cup pickling lime (optional, ally. Remove cucumbers from lime 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes see directions for firmer pickles) solution, rinse well and resoak 2 tbsp. whole mixed pickling spice for quarts. 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat 3 to 4 tbsp. whole mustard seed Yield: 7 to 9 pintsPickling solution: the rinsing and soaking step two41⁄2 cups sugar4 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid) more times. Rinse and drain. Handle carefully, as slices will be (1 tsp. per pint jar) 10 to 12 fresh dill heads, washed o brittle. Drain well. (11⁄2 heads per pint jar), or 1 tbsp. dill2 tbsp. mustard seed 2. Prepare pickling solution by com- seed or dill weed per pint jar11⁄2 tbsp. celery seed bining sugar, vinegar and spices in 1 or 2 garlic cloves per jar, peeled1 tbsp. ground mustard a large kettle. Bring to a boil, and (optional) boil 10 minutes. Add well-drained1. Wash cucumbers or squash care- 1. Wash cucumbers carefully. Trim 1⁄16 cucumbers (or squash) and onions, fully. Trim 1⁄16 inch from the inch from the blossom end and and slowly reheat to a boil. blossom end and discard. Cut into discard. But leave 1⁄4-inch stem 3⁄ 16-inch slices. Combine cucum- 3. Fill clean, hot pint or quart jars with slices and pickling solution, leaving attached. bers or squash and sliced onions in 1⁄2-inch headspace. Remove 2. Prepare brine by dissolving 3⁄4 cups a large bowl. Add salt. Cover with bubbles with a rubber spatula. Wipe salt in 2 gallons water. Pour over 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. cucumbers, cover and let stand Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding 4. Cap jars with pretreated lids. 12 hours. Drain. more ice as needed. Drain. Adjust lids. 3. Prepare pickling solution of 5. Process in a boiling water canner: vinegar, 1⁄2 cup salt, sugar and 2 15 minutes for pints or quarts. quarts water in a large saucepan. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a Note: After processing and cooling, clean cheesecloth bag. Heat to store jars for 4 to 5 weeks to develop boiling. Remove the spice bag. ideal flavor. Yield: 7 to 8 pints20 o Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 21
  13. 13. FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPES FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPESDill pickles, reduced sodium Quick sweet pickles 4. Hot pack — Add cucumbers to Variation for firmer pickles: Wash pickling solution and heat slowly cucumbers. Trim 1⁄16 inch from the4 lbs. pickling cucumbers, 1 gallon pickling cucumbers, until vinegar solution returns to a blossom end and discard. But leave 3 to 5 inches long 3 to 4 inches long (about 8 lbs.) boil. Stir occasionally to make sure1⁄ 4-inch stem attached. Cut cucum-6 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid) 1⁄ 3 cup canning and pickling salt the mixture heats evenly. Fill hot, bers into slices or strips. Mix 1 cup sterilized pint or quart jars (see6 cups sugar Crushed or cubed ice page 12) with cucumber slices or pickling lime and 1⁄3 cup salt in 12 tbsp. canning and pickling salt 1 cup pickling lime (optional, for firmer strips, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock pickles — see variation, next page) Cover with boiling hot pickling or enamelware container. Caution:11⁄2 tsp. celery seed solution, leaving 1⁄2-inch head- Avoid inhaling lime dust while11⁄2 tsp. mustard seed Pickling solution: space. Remove bubbles with a mixing the lime-water solution. Soak 41⁄2 cups sugar rubber spatula. Wipe jar rims with a2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced cucumber slices or strips in lime 31⁄2 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid) clean, damp cloth. Cap jars with8 fresh dill heads water solution for 12 to 24 hours, pretreated lids. Adjust lids. 2 tsp. celery seed Process in a boiling water canner: stirring occasionally. Remove from1. Wash cucumbers carefully. Trim 1⁄ 16 inch from the blossom end and 1 tbsp. whole allspice 10 minutes for pints or quarts. lime solution. Rinse, and soak for 1 discard. Cut cucumbers into Or: hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the 2 tbsp. mustard seed Raw pack — Fill clean, hot pint or rinsing and resoaking two more 1⁄ 4-inch slices. 1. Gently wash cucumbers. Trim 1⁄162. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, celery inch from the blossom and discard. quart jars with drained cucumber times. Handle carefully, because seeds and mustard seeds in a large slices or strips, leaving 1⁄2-inch slices or strips will be brittle. Drain But leave 1⁄4-inch stem attached. saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Slice cucumbers, or cut into strips. headspace. Cover with boiling hot well. Pack jars and process as3. Place 2 slices onion and 1⁄2 dill 2. Place cucumbers in a bowl and pickling solution, leaving 1⁄2-inch directed for hot or raw pack. head on the bottom of each clean, sprinkle with 1⁄3 cup salt. Cover headspace. Remove bubbles with Yield: 7 to 9 pints hot pint jar. Fill jars with cucumber slices, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Add 1 slice onion and 1⁄2 dill head with 2 inches of cubed or crushed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Add more ice as needed. Drain well. a rubber spatula. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Cap jars o on top. Pour hot pickling solution with pretreated lids. Adjust lids. over cucumber slices, leaving 3. Combine sugar, vinegar, celery 1⁄ 4-inch headspace. Remove seed, allspice and mustard seed in a Process in a boiling water canner: 6-quart kettle to make the pickling 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes bubbles with a rubber spatula. for quarts. Or use low-tempera- Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp solution. Heat to a boil. ture pasteurization (see pages cloth. 14-15).4. Cap jars with pretreated lids. Note: After processing and cooling, Adjust lids. store jars for 4 or 5 weeks to develop5. Process in a boiling water canner: 20 minutes for pints. full flavor.Yield: 8 pints o22 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 23
  14. 14. FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPES FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPESSweet 4-day gherkins or Day 2 Day 4 Sweet 14-day cucumberchunk pickles Afternoon: Morning: or cauliflower pickles Drain cucumbers and return to con- Drain cucumbers, reserving pickling5 quarts whole small cucumbers, 4 to 6 quarts whole pickling cucumbers, tainer. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup salt and solution. Return cucumbers to con- 11⁄2 to 3 inches long (7 lbs.) or 2 to 5 inches long (4 lbs.) or fresh cover with fresh boiling water. Let tainer. Add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup medium cucumbers (7 to 8 lbs.) cauliflower, separated into flowerets stand, covered, at room temperature. vinegar to the reserved pickling1⁄ 2 cup canning and pickling salt (4 lbs.) Day 3 solution. Heat to a boil, and pour over 3⁄ 4 cup canning and pickling salt,Pickling solution: Morning: pickles.8 cups sugar separated Drain. For gherkins (small cucum- Afternoon (6 to 8 hours later): (1⁄4 cup on each of the 1st, 3rd and6 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid) bers), prick cucumbers in several Drain cucumbers, collecting pickling 5th days)3⁄ 4 tsp. turmeric places with a table fork. Cut medium solution in a large saucepan. Add cucumbers in chunks or slices 1⁄2- remaining 1 cup sugar to pickling Pickling solution:2 tsp. celery seed 2 tsp. celery seed inch thick. Return whole cucumbers solution. Heat to a boil. Pack cucum-2 tbsp. whole mixed pickling spice or slices to container. Make pickling bers into clean, hot pint jars and 2 tbsp. mixed pickling spices2 sticks cinnamon solution of 3 cups sugar and 3 cups cover with boiling pickling solution, 51⁄2 cups sugar vinegar. Add turmeric and other leaving 1⁄ 2-inch headspace. Wipe jarDay 1 4 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid)Morning: spices. Heat to boiling and pour over rims with a clean, damp cloth. Cap cucumbers. Cucumbers may be only jars with pretreated lids. Adjust lids. Day 1Wash cucumbers thoroughly and partially covered at this point. Wash cucumbers carefully. Trim 1⁄16remove all blossoms; drain. Trim Process in a boiling water canner:1⁄ 16 inch from the blossom end and inch from the blossom end and Afternoon (6 to 8 hours later): 10 minutes for pints. Or use low- discard. But leave 1⁄4-inch stemdiscard. But leave 1⁄4-inch stem Drain cucumbers, reserving pickling temperature pasteurization (see attached. Wash cauliflower well. Packattached. Place cucumbers in a large solution. Return cucumbers to con- pages 14-15). carefully washed whole cucumberscontainer and add boiling water to tainer. Add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups Yield: 9 to 10 pints or cauliflower flowerets into acover. Let stand, covered, at room vinegar to the reserved picklingtemperature (65° to 75° F). solution. Heat to a boil, and pour over pickles. o suitable 1-gallon container. Add 1⁄4 cup salt to 2 quarts water and bringAfternoon (6 to 8 hours later): to a boil. Pour over cucumbers orDrain cucumbers and return to con- cauliflower. Weigh down vegetablestainer. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup salt and with a plate to keep them sub-cover with fresh boiling water. Let merged, and cover the containerstand, covered, at room temperature. with a clean towel. Allow to stand for 2 days at about 70° F. (continued)24 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 25
  15. 15. FRESH PACK & QUICK PROCESS RECIPES VEGETABLE PICKLE RECIPESSweet 14-day cucumber Days 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 Dilly beans Pickled three-bean salador cauliflower pickles Drain pickling solution and spice bag 4 quarts whole green or wax beans 11⁄2 cups green or yellow beans,(continued) and save. Add 1⁄2 cup sugar each day (about 4 lbs.) cut and blanched (see step 1) to drained pickling solution, andDays 3 and 5 8 fresh dill heads, or 11⁄2 tsp. dill seed or 11⁄2 cups canned red kidney beans, bring to a boil in a saucepan. RemoveDrain off brine and discard. Rinse dill weed per jar drained vegetables from container and rinse.vegetables. Remove any scum that Scald container, cover and weight 8 garlic cloves (optional) 1 cup canned garbanzo beanshas formed. Scald the container, daily. Return rinsed vegetables to 1⁄ 4 tsp. cayenne pepper or 1 small dried (chick peas), drainedcover, and dish or plate used to container, add boiled pickling hot pepper per jar (optional) 1⁄ 2 cup onion, peeled and thinly slicedweigh down vegetables. Return veg- solution, cover and weight. Cover (about 1 medium onion)etables to container. Add 1⁄4 cup salt Pickling solution: with a clean towel. 1⁄ 2 cup celery, trimmed and thinly slicedto 2 quarts fresh water in a saucepan. 4 cups white vinegar (5% acetic acid)Bring to a boil. Pour over vegetables. Day 14 (11⁄2 medium stalks) 4 cups waterReplace cover and weight. Cover with Drain pickling solution into a kettle, 1⁄ 2 cup green peppers, cored and sliced 1⁄ 2 cup canning and pickling salta clean towel. Allow to stand for 2 add 1⁄2 cup sugar, and bring to a boil. (1⁄2 medium pepper)days at 70° F. Repeat. Discard spice bag. Pack vegetables 1. Wash pint canning jars. Keep hot into clean, hot pint or quart jars. until filled. Pickling solution:Day 7 1⁄ 2 cup white vinegar (5% acetic acid) Cover with boiling pickling solution, 2. Wash beans thoroughly, and drain.Drain brine and discard. Rinse veg- Cut into lengths to fit pint jars. leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Remove 1⁄ 4 cup bottled lemon juiceetables. Scald containers, cover and 3. In each hot pint jar, place dill, garlic bubbles with a rubber spatula. Wipe 3⁄ 4 cup sugarweight. and pepper, if desired. Pack beans jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. CapImportant: Slice cucumbers now, upright, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. 11⁄4 cups water jar with pretreated lids. Adjust lids.either lengthwise or crosswise, to 4. Prepare pickling solution of 1⁄ 4 cup cooking oil (optional) Process in a boiling water canner: vinegar, water and salt in aprevent shriveling. 1⁄ 2 tsp. canning and pickling salt 10 minutes for pints, 15 minutes saucepan, and bring to a boil. PourReturn vegetables to container. for quarts. Or use low-temperature boiling hot pickling solution over 1. Wash fresh beans and snap offPlace celery seed and pickling spices pasteurization (see page 15). beans, leaving 1⁄2--inch headspace. ends. Cut or snap into 1- to 2-inchin a small cheesecloth bag. Combine Remove bubbles with a rubber pieces. Blanch beans 3 minutes in Yield: 8 to 10 pints spatula. Wipe jar rims with a clean,2 cups sugar and 4 cups vinegar in a boiling water as follows: Placesaucepan. Add spice bag, bring to aboil, and pour hot pickling solution o damp cloth. 5. Cap jars with pretreated lids. beans in actively boiling water. Cover and start timing the blanch- Adjust lids. ing process as soon as the waterover vegetables. Add cover and 6. Process in a boiling water canner: returns to a boil. After 3 minutes,weight. Cover with a clean towel. 10 minutes for pints. transfer beans immediately to a Yield: 7 to 8 pints pan of ice water and cool for 3 minutes. Drain. o (continued)26 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series HOMEMADE PICKLES & RELISHES 27