design-inspired urban farming
Carrots are a perfect pickling vegetable. They are easy to cut into sticks and fit nicely in a jar. They are also beautifully bright inside the jar and make for a lovely hostess gift, perk up any dish or are great to serve as a snack for unexpected guests. We love this recipe and is a perfect first pickling project in the hot packing method. Hot-packing is the practice of heating freshly prepared food to boiling, simmering it 2 to 5 minutes, and promptly filling jars loosely with the boiled food. This method helps eliminate air inside the jar and creates a vacuum seal.
When preparing this recipe or any pickling recipe that calls for vinegar, it is important to check the label and find at least 5% acidity. Anything above 5% is fine too. The ratio at 5% kills off bacteria, in particular botulism, that could pose a danger to food safety.
Pickled Chipotle Fennel Carrots (recipe courtesy of the Institute of Domestic Technology
2-3/4 pounds peeled carrots
5-1/2 cups distilled vinegar (5% acidity) or white apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons non-iodized salt
8 teaspoons whole mustard seed
4 teaspoons while celery seed
4 whole, dried chipotle peppers
4 whole fresh garlic cloves
24 whole black peppercorns
Wash, drain and peel carrots. Slice carrots crosswise or lengthwise to size in order to fit in jar.
Make the pickling solution: Combine vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a large pot (8-quart or larger). Heat the pickling solution by bringing to a boil. Then keep it boiling gently for 3 minutes.
Prepare the jars: While the carrots are cooking, put 2 teaspoons mustard seed, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon coriander seed, 1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1 whole chipotle, 6 black peppercorns and 1 garlic clove in the
bottom of each clean, hot pint jar.
Packing the carrots in the canning jar: Fill the jars with carrots fairly tightly, leaving 1-inch headspace, which is needed for expansion during heating in the water bath. This is called hot packing.
Filling the jars: Use a ladle or Pyrex measuring cup to carefully fill each packed jar with hot vinegar solution (pickling liquid), again allowing 1/2 – 1-inch headspace. The carrots should be covered and there should still be 1 inch of airspace left in the top of each jar.
Remove all air bubbles by sliding a chopstick or a plastic knife inside the jar (metal can potentially scratch or crack your jar, which could ruin the batch). Gently jostle and you’ll see a few bubbles rise to the top. Then process the water bath for 15 minutes.