How to make pickles

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Many people nowadays don’t know how to make pickles. Why should you go to all the bother of pickling fruit and vegetables when they can be bought fresh in the supermarket?

The answer is - they taste delicious.

When pickling you should use unblemished fresh food. Pickles can be made raw or cooked, sweet or sharp.

Pickled onions are made using salt to draw the water from them, before bottling in vinegar which gives a nice crispy texture and taste - we call them clear pickles and they are usually vegetables.

Sweet pickles such as apples are cooked then bottled with the vinegar.

Storage Bottles

Any glass bottle can be used but make sure it’s free from bacteria before using.

A dishwasher at high temperature is an easy way to achieve this or place in an oven at a very low heat for 3 or 4 hours.

Alternatively, but not as efficient, you can fill each glass bottle with boiling hot water – but be careful they do not crack.

How to Make Pickles - Clear Brine

Prepare the ingredients first by rinsing them in cold water to make sure they are clean. how to make pickles

Dry them off using kitchen paper so they are not dripping wet or, better still, leave them to dry naturally for an hour or two.

Larger vegetables such as bell peppers will need to be cut or chopped into smaller pieces first.

Layer the vegetables on a plastic or glass surface, such as a chopping board.

Take your vegetables and liberally rub salt over them to draw out the juices. This gives them nice and crunchy.

Leave soaking in the salt for about 8 hours or over night.

Rinse with cold water making sure the salt is properly rinsed away.

Drain the vegetables and dry with kitchen towel.

Bottle with vinegar.

Store for at least one month before eating. Will keep for up to one year.

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How to Make Pickles - Thick Skin Vegetables

Use this method for such as pickled onions or lemons.

Mix ¼ cup of salt to 2 ½ cups of water.

Soak the vegetables in the water mix for 2 - 3 days.

Rinse under cold water.

Drain the vegetables and dry with kitchen towel.

Bottle in vinegar.

Store for at least one month before eating. Will keep for up to one year.

How to Make Pickles - Sweet

Often sweet pickles are made with fruit, but not always.

Sweet pickles are made using distilled malt, wine or cider vinegar.

When pickling, take into the account of the colour of the vinegar as it will affect the presentation of your fruit.

A fairly large amount of sugar is used in sweet pickles - 1 ¾ cups of sugar to 1 ¼ cups of vinegar.

Spices such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, ground spices, cloves etc can be used.

You will require a non corrosive pan such as stainless steel to cook with vinegar.

Prick the fruit before cooking to allow the vinegar to penetrate the skin.

If you are using spices place them in a small infusion bag and hang over the side of the pan.

Pour the vinegar into a stainless steel pan.

Hang the spices in a small infusion bag over the side.

Bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes.

Add your fruit to the vinegar.

Simmer for about 7 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon lift the fruit out of the vinegar and into bottles.

Add the sugar to the vinegar and heat until dissolved.

Boil rapidly for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should get syrupy.

Pour the syrup over the bottled apples.

Seal the bottles.

Can be stored for up to one year.

How to make pickles - Recipes

Pickled Peppers and Cauli

  • 65g of red and yellow peppers
  • 65g cauliflower florets
  • 4tbls of salt
  • 750ml or 3 cups of distilled vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
Cut the peppers into small strips.

Break the florets off the cauliflower

Rinse the vegetable under cold water then pat dry with kitchen paper.

Put the peppers and cauli into a plastic bowl and cover with the salt.

Put some cling film (plastic wrap) over the top.

Leave overnight.

Rinse under cold water then pat dry with kitchen paper.

Before placing the peppers and cauli into storage bottles make sure they are dry.

Pour the vinegar with the herbs and peppercorns into a stainless steel pan.

Gently heat, bringing to the boil and allowing to simmer for about 2 minutes.

With a wooden spoon remove the herbs from the pan and place in the bottles with the peppers and cauli.

Pour the vinegar liquid over the peppers.

Seal and store for at least one month. Will keep up to one year.

Mango Chutney

how to make pickles Makes about 900ml
  • 2 large mangos
  • 900g of carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 50g crystallised chopped ginger
  • 1 tbls grated lemon rind
  • 225g sugar
  • 1tbls salt
  • ½ ground cloves and dry mustard
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp pepper
  • 900ml white vinegar
Place all the ingredients into a non corrosive pan such as stainless steel.

Heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.

Cook on a low heat for about 1½ hours.

Bottle and seal.

Leave to stand for about one month. Will keep for up to a year.

I hope that this article has helped you know more about how to make pickles.

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