Rabu, 07 September 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers


Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Who is Peter Piper? Why, he’s a fellow named Peter who blows a pipe and picks peppers . . .duh!

But more importantly, what in the heck is a peck??  A peck is a measurement unit of dry measure .. . it is equal to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts or 16 dry pints. That’s a lot ofpeppers!  But it doesn’t turn out to be awhole peck  . . . er . . . heck of a lotwhen you pickle them.

If you’ve gotten a garden and your peppers are popping youshould want a way to preserve them. There are a number of different ways to do this.  Last year I dried most of my peppers withexcellent results . . . I’m still using them in any number of recipes callingfor pepper flakes. 

But, this year I decided to try something different . . .taking a cue from Peter Piper I opted to pickle and can them.

To Make Homemade Pickled Peppers you can use just about anykind of pepper . . . hot or sweet . . . including Chilies, Pimiento, Hungarian,Banana, Jalapeno, Etc.

If stored properly, canned pickled peppers have a shelf lifeof about 12 months.  That is they shouldbe kept in a cool, dark place

For 9 pints you will need about 7 lbs of peppers total.  You can mix and match varieties, hot andsweet . . . whatever you want.

You will also need:

Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
Jar funnel
Large spoons and ladles
At least 1 large pot
One 6 - 8 quart pot or saucepan
Pint Sized Ball jars
1 Canner or a huge pot


It’s very important that you select peppers that are veryfresh and crisp.  Limp, old peppers willmake nasty tasting canned peppers. 

Hot pepper caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do nottouch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not weargloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face oreyes . . . or your private parts. Ouchie!!


Wash the jars and lids. The dishwasher is fine for the jars. I put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, anduse the magnetic "lid lifter wand to pull them out.

Get a large pot of water boiling.  This is for the hot water bath that you willbe processing the peppers in.

Wash the peppers to remove any dirt and debris.  You can remove the seeds if you want to, atthis point.  I like to keep my hot pepperswhole for the fullest heat. 


Blister the peppers by placing them in a hot oven set at 400ยบ for 6 to 8 minutes; using tongs carefully turnpepper often until skin blisters evenly on all sides.  Then place them in a bowl covered with a toweluntil you’re ready to use them.

Next you want to prepare your pickling solution.  In a saucepan, combine and heat:

5 cups vinegar (5%)
1 cup water
4 tsp canning or pickling salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic

Heat it to boiling and simmer for 10 minutes. Then removethe garlic (and discard).

Pack the jars with the pickles and pour the vinegar solutioninto each packed jar.  Fill jars, leaving1/2-inch of headspace. Flatten whole peppers. You may add 1/2 teaspoon of saltto each pint jar, if desired for taste (it is not a preservative).

Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring onand screwing it down snugly (but not with all your might, just"snug").

Put the jars in the canner and keep them covered with atleast 1 inch of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for 10 minutes.  Remember to adjust for altitudes . . .

The normal boilingpoint of water at sea level is 212°. At higher altitudes, water boils at lowertemperatures. When processing jars of jams, pickles, and other preserves in aboiling water bath at higher altitudes, use the following chart to adjust times.

1,001 feet to 3,000feet, add 5 minutes to processing times.
3,001 feet to 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes to processing times.
6,001 feet to 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes to processing times.
8,001 feet to 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes to processing times.


Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a woodencutting board or a towel, without touching or bumping them in a draft-freeplace (usually takes overnight), where they won't be bumped. You can thenremove the rings if you like. Once the jars are cool, you can check that theyare sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in thecenter, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making apopping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator rightaway, you can still use it.





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