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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweet Red Onion Pickles

This recipe is the first pickle I attempted to make when I started canning last year. The original recipe comes from the canning blog that helped me get started, Food in Jars. These pickles are delicious, easy and have lots of great uses. When I run out, it's a serious situation.

The only draw back to onion pickles is peeling and slicing a large quantity of onions. I'm very grateful to my cousin, Genny, who turned me on to these onion goggles. They really work! You don't usually get to see me at work, but I asked Mr. Dwayne to take a picture of me demonstrating the goggles. I peeled and sliced 10 pounds of onions, pain and tear free!
If you plan to use a Mandolin or V-slicer, cut to tops off of the onions and peel back the skin, leaving the root end intact.
My cheapy V-slicer worked just great to slice these onions quickly and evenly.

Marisa's recipe starts with 3 lbs. of onions. I really needed to make a big batch, so I started with 10 lbs. Everything is proportional, except I use more sugar - double - for the brine. These end up being a true sweet pickle for me. For ten lbs. of pickles, I used 4 batches of brine and had a lot of brine left over. (Left over brine is not a problem. Ask my delicious beets.) Check out Marisa's recipe if you want to start out with a more manageable quantity.

Sweet Red Onion Pickles
10 lbs. red onions
8 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
6 cups sugar
4 tbsp. pickling salt
8 tsp. mustard seed
4 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. red chili flakes
Prepare jars, lids and boiling water bath.

Peel and slice onions. Combine brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the onions in the boiling water for 4 minutes. I had to blanch this quantity in two batches. I scooped the first set of onions out with tongs and a slotted spoon and let them sit in a colander while I blanched the second set. Once the onions are all blanched and drained, add them all to the brine and mix thoroughly to distribute the spices. Fill the hot jars by using tongs to push the onions through canning funnel into the jar. Fill to about 3/4 inch of the jar top, then slowly pour some brine in. Use a chop stick to poke down the sides of the jar. This releases the air and allows the brine to percolate down. Top off the brine, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims and top with lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes. Carefully remove the jars to a towel lined tray. Allow to cure 3 or 4 days before serving.

Makes 12 pint jars.

Turkey and avocado sandwiches. Hot dogs. Burgers. Pitas with goat cheese, hummus and cucumbers. Tuna salad. Flat bread with avocado and salmon. Deviled eggs. Egg salad sandwiches. Garlic sausages. Brats. Meatloaf sandwiches.
You get the idea.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy that you like these pickled onions so much!