Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pickling Crisp VS Pickling Lime

Pickling Crisp VS Pickling Lime

By Jalapeno Gal77 - via APN

pickle crisp ballFor those of us who like to make our own pickles, relish or anything that has that long, frustrating, pre-soaking process involving pickling lime, there is a simple solution.  Pickling crisp!!

For those of us who do not know what the pickling lime process is and are interested in making/canning your own pickles, pickling lime is a product you buy and is required in most recipes that require pickling and helps improve the firmness by adding calcium that reinforces the pectin in the vegetable being pickled.

For example, if your using cucumbers, you would mix the pickling lime in water according to the package directions and let it soak for a full day (if not longer) rinsing at min of 3 times.  You will have to soak and rinse repeatedly until the water is clear.  Lime is alkaline so you have to make sure to get rid of all of it in the rinses process or it will reduce the acidity that you will use to pickle your vegetable with.  When you have alkalinity it reduces the Ph as well which neutralizes the acidity and can lead to botulism.  For this very reason, it is not recommended to use pickling lime any longer.  It can be a pain in the rear anyway, especially in today’s society where we are always so busy and don’t have time to rinse the vegetables a bunch of times.

That leads us to pickling crisp!  It replaces pickling lime, which home picklers have long used to firm cucumbers into pickles.

Calcium chloride aka pickle crisp is easier to use:  You add 1/8 teaspoon along with the fruit or vegetable pieces and the pickling liquid to a pint jar, or 1/4 teaspoon to a quart jar and voila!  Your done!  No long soaking and rinsing process to deal with.  If only our ancestors had this product :)
Below is a recipe I use for Candied Jalapenos and Quick Refrigerator Party Pickles.  I hope you find this article enjoyable, and makes canning pickled foods easier for you :)

Keepin It Spicy,
Jalapeño Gal

Candied Jalapenos
candied jalapenosThese make a perfect appetizer with crackers and cream cheese.  Just put some in with the cream cheese. they can also be used in place of relish, on hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, eggs, or any dish you would use jalapenos with or if you just want to add some spice to a dish.

  • 3 lbs jalapenos ( a mix of red & green fruit is beautiful)
  • 2 c cider vinegar
  • 6 c sugar
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1 T granulated garlic (or add a garlic clove per jar)
  • Onion slices to your taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Pickle Crisp
Warning: As always, WEAR GLOVES, or you will regret it.

    party pickles
  • Prepare your jars as you normally would for the water canning process.  I use half pint jars for this recipe but feel free to use what ever size is good for you.
  • Add 1/16 of a teaspoon pickle crisp per jar.
  • Cut the stems off and slice the jalapenos nacho style (leaving the seeds if you want hotter peppers, remove them if you want a milder pepper)
  • Add cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic, and cayenne pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add pepper slices and continue to simmer 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer the peppers into the jars using a slotted spoon, leaving the juice in the pot.  Leave 1/4 inch head space at the top of the jar.
  • Turn up the heat under the juice/syrup and return to a hard boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add syrup to the jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  • use a plastic utensil, make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars.
  • Wipe brims clean and dry and add seals and lids.
  • Process in a water canner for 10 minutes if using half pint jars.  15 minutes if using pint jars.

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

  • 7 cups sliced,unpeeled cucumbers
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced onion (red or yellow)

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • pickle crisp (use according to package directions)
Do not heat the brine mix.  Mix together sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved, then add celery seed, salt and pickle crisp; pour over cucumber, peppers and onion mix.  Store in the refrigerator in a covered container or in quart jars.  They’re best after 24 hours, but you can eat them right away.

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