Once again, I’ve waited until the last possible moment to post my Tigress Can Jam recipe. Motivated by deadlines? Yes, that would be me.
Despite my lack of action, I actually have been thinking about what to make for weeks. I initially wanted to do a red onion and rhubarb chutney. I even had a few stalks of ruby red forced rhubarb (purchased for my April Grid contribution). However, I left it waiting a few days too long and the rhubarb puddled in the bottom of the crisper. I took it as a sign that fate wanted me to do a solo red onion condiment.
Last weekend, I bought several hefty red onions and have been gazing at them for the last seven days waiting to be moved. Wednesday (or thereabouts), I decided that I wanted to make something akin to a bread and butter pickle (I’m a sucker for the combination of sweet and puckery). Tonight I settled down on the floor in front of the stretch of bookshelves that hold the canning volumes, in order to cobble a recipe together.
I stole inspiration from Linda Ziedrich’s favorite bread and butter pickle recipe (did you see that Linda left a comment on Rurally Screwed recently? I am star struck!), while using the proportions and cooking guidelines for pickled onions from So Easy to Preserve. What I got was a gently hued, softly cooked, slightly sweet pickle that I cannot wait to heap on a burger or suck down with a mild, soft cheese.
Updated June 29, 2010: These pickles are amazing on salads, particularly one built on a base of spicy arugula. Just thought you should know.
- 3 pounds of red onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon pickling salt
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Fill your canning pot with water, submerge your jars in it and bring to a boil. When it has reached a boil, turn the temperature down to a simmer and keep hot until you’re ready to fill your jars. Place the lids in a small saucepan and bring to a very low simmer (you’re shooting to heat the lids to approximately 185 degrees).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sliced red onion and cook for four minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Using the same pot in which you quickly cooked the onions, combine the brine ingredients. As soon as the salt and sugar are dissolved, add the red onions. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- Remove the jars from the canning pot. Fill with the onions and brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a wooden chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon to remove as many bubbles from the jars as is possible.
- Wipe rims (even that small amount of sugar will make the brine slightly sticky), apply lids and screw on bands.
- Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (remember that you don’t start counting time until the pot returns to a boil).
- When time in up, remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cook on a towel-lined countertop until they are completely cool (overnight is good). When they are cool enough to handle, remove rings, check seals and store in a cool, dark place. Let cure for at least 48 hours prior to opening jars.