Friday, July 15, 2011

Pickled Hot Peppers

I've not had the chance to pickle any peppers this summer so far. A travesty I hope to remedy this weekend. I've received several emails from first timers who are interested in what they can do with their bumper crops of peppers. There are many paths one could take with that. But, for today I'm going to focus on the recipe for pickled hot peppers given in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, what I consider to be my "Bible" of canning.
The recipe calls for a varying amount of assorted peppers. Don't fret if your garden didn't render the exact measurements. I"ve played fast and loose with the pepper selection in previous batches. And, it can easily be halved if your pepper population is on the scant side.
Remember kids, always wear gloves when handling peppers. It's all fun and games till someone gets a third degree capsaicin burn. And, as I mentioned in the Pineapple Habanero Jelly post, if you're plastic glove supply has been exhausted by your four old constantly using them as rooster balloons, then wrap your hands in several layers of plastic wrap with a final layer of sammie bags. And, while I'm tossing out helpful hints, freezing peppers before slicing seems to reduce the toxic fumes.

Yield: About 5 pints
6 cups hot banana peppers (about 1 1/2 lbs) sliced into rings
4 cups jalapeno peppers (about 1lb) sliced into rings
1 cup serrano peppers (about 4 oz) sliced into rings
6 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups filtered water
3 cloves garlic crushed

1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
I really hope that this is the week I can manage to get video tutorials on water bath canning up and running. But, till I do, Ball's Fresh Preserving site has excellent and easy to follow step by step instructions.
2. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine peppers. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water, and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until garlic flavor has infused the liquid. Discard garlic.
4. Pack peppers into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover peppers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a chopstick around the sides of jar and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim with wet paper towel. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
5. Place jars into canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 min. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
I like to can my pickled hot peppers in pint jars because my hubby and I don't sit down to the supper table without a jar between us....ever. If, however, you won't partake of them as frequently, you might consider canning them in half pint jars. It would be a shame to have to throw out a half eaten jar of your hard work.
Feel free to comment any questions you might have. And, I'll get back with you as quickly as possible.


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