Real Fermenting: Not Fermenting - Pickled Jalapeños

Friday, 10 August 2012

Not Fermenting - Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled jalapeños - I can't get enough of them! In order to support my habit, I needed to make my own. These aren't fermented, but they are made with homegrown peppers, along with jalapeños from my farm box. This recipe follows a basic canning process, which you won't see very often on this blog, because it is designed to prevent fermentation, or any kind of microbial activity. Canning was invented fifty years before germ theory was discovered, by the French brewer and confectioner Nicolas Appert. For Napoleon... hmm. Maybe next time, I will try to find a fermented jalapeño recipe. 
Chopped jalapeños. Wear gloves
Ingredients

12oz Jalapeños (any kind of fairly spicy pepper will do)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp salt per jar

Process

First, get your jars and lids sterilized. To do this, scrub the jars clean and rinse the soap off and then put then into boiling water along with the lids. They should boil for at least 15 minutes, but longer doesn't really matter. I used four 1/2 pint jars.

Then, chop your peppers. I really recommend wearing gloves for this. It is absolutely no fun at all to get this pepper juice in your eye or wherever. Chop them to 1/4" thickness. I had my handy craft chopping board to help with the precision here, but don't go crazy trying to get them even.

While you are chopping, mix the water and vinegar together and boil the mixture. Pack the pepper into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2" of air at the top. Jam one bay leaf into each jar and add 1/4 tsp of salt to each jar as well. Then, carefully pour the hot vinegar solution into the jar, again leaving 1/2" of headroom.

Carefully (I used tongs), but the lids on the jars and screw on the bands. Then return the jars to the sterilizing pot and simmer them for 10 minutes. This is processing the jars, and the heat will ensure that the pepper mixture is completely safe to keep for a long time.

Processing the peppers
Now, remove the jars and leave them to cool in a quiet spot. The lids should be popped down by the time they are cool. Let the peppers cure in the vinegar for 6 weeks before tucking in!

Waiting is the hardest part

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