So onto one of the first canning experiment, making a batch of pickled carrots. My original idea was to use the bag of carrots that I had in the fridge to make a carrot soup recipe that I saw in Food & Wine magazine. But as usual, one thing led to another, and the carrots that were meant for soup ended up being pickled.
Here are the two base recipes (Number 1 & Number 2) that I used as a starting point. But I ended up taking more of a cue from recipe #2, since it was an adapted recipe from Gourmet Magazine:
- 2 lbs baby carrots (Dole carrots in a bag)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cup plain vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 TB canning salt
Per pint jar:
- 1 whole clove of garlic
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
Yield 4 pints
In a pot of salted water, I cooked the baby carrots for 5 mins so that they were halfway cooked. The carrots were then cooled down in an ice water bath, to stop the cooking process. While the carrots were cooking and then cooling down, in another pot bring all the brine ingredients to a boil, then keep the mixture simmering for at least 15 minutes. At the same time that you are heating up the brine, pre-heat four pint sized canning jars in large pot of hot water. Once the brine is done cooking, remove the pint jars from the pot and drain. Then place the spice mix at the bottom of each jar, placing the par-cooked carrots on top of the spice mix. Finally fill the jars with the hot brine to within a 1/4″ of the top of the jar, remove all the air bubbles using your preferred method (mine is using the Food Saver jar attachment), cap, and then process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. After the jar are done processing, place them on a tea towel in a draft-free location to let the vacuum seal form, and to allow the jars to cool down. After 24 hours, any jars that haven’t seal need to be refrigerated, and the others that did seal can be put away to “age” before consuming.
1) Since I only canned these carrots this past weekend (so 5-6 days ago.) I’m going to wait another week or two before giving them a taste test. That way the vinegar will have some time to mellow and spices will get a little more time to work their flavor magic.
2) Strangely enough, the amount of liquid listed above is enough to fill up all four pint jars with no waste.
3) For some reason online, their are a lot of recipes for pickled carrots with dill. And the idea of pairing dill and pickled carrots just wasn’t doing it for me. So I pretty much went off into my own direction, with a lot of guidance from the Gourmet recipe for a starting point.
4) Most of the pickled carrot recipes I read online, were all over the board is far as sugar in the brine (1/2 cup to 2 cups.) which to me seemed like way too much. So I went with the Gourmet recommendation of 1/4 cup per pound of carrots.