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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pickled Beets Revisited - Two More TNT Recipes

I canned pickled beets yesterday and since I am still getting used to the working dynamics of our new kitchen still under renovation, the process was a little slower. It was slower type of day as well so we had a simple dinner of BLTs made with garden fresh heirloom tomatoes. Unfortunately they were not from my garden but rather from a friend who also gardens organically. She also gifted us with three lovely sized zucchini so I will be doing something with those today. BLTs are a lovely way to use up the garden's bounty. I'm looking forward to harvesting some fresh produce from my winter garden.

Pickled Beets

I like canning pickled beets in 250 ml (1/2 pint) jars. Their deep ruby red sparkle in the jar tempting the taste buds. Half-pints are the perfect size for gift giving so be sure to make a few extra jars! Seven lovely jars of pickled beets are now ready for the pantry shelves.

In a previous blog entry on Pickled Beets I shared the recipe from Jean Paré's Company's Coming Preserves that I use most often. This year the beets are plentiful despite the abnormally dry growing season so I'm canning Lemon Beet Pickles (recipe below) and a batch of the pickled beets my mother-in-law used to make.

Lemon Beet Pickles*
source: Jean Paré's Company's Coming Preserves, 1994. Pp. 91

Please read my notes at the end of the recipe.

2 lbs beets with 1-inch tops intact
water to cover

3 c granulated sugar**
1 c slivered almonds
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 medium lemons with peel, quartered and thinly sliced

Cook beets in water until tender and cool in cold water until they can be handled. Peel. Dice finely into a large saucepan. There should be 4 cups of diced beets. Add the sugar, almonds and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add the lemon and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal***
Yield: 3 pints (about 7 half- pints)

My Notes:
*This recipe is more like a relish in texture.
**I use organic sugar but regular sugar will work. I have not tested usind Splenda but it should work.
***No processing instructions were given. Pints should be processed using a boiling water bath for 20 minutes for either pints or half-pints.

Spiced Pickled Beets
source: my mother-in-law
note: instructions are for half-pint jars

3 lb beets
water to cover
1/4 tsp salt per half-pint
2 c white vinegar
2 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp mixed pickling spice, tied in double layer of cheesecloth

Wash, peel and slice the beets. Cook beets for 3 minutes. Pack hot beets into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1/4 tsp salt per pint. Mix the sugar and vinegar to boiling. Swish the spice bag in the syrup for 30 seconds. Remove the bag. Pour boiling syrup over the beets leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rim. Adjust two piece lids. Process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Test for seal then label and store.
Yield: 7 half-pints

My Notes: This is a very nice pickled beet, sure to please. The spices kick it up a notch to borrow Emeril's favourite phrase! The longer processing time is required because unlike some pickled beet recipes the beets have a shorter initial cooking time.

3 food lovers commented:

Alice said...

I don't think there is anything prettier in the pantry than jars of pickled beets. And how wonderful they will taste this winter.

Jan said...

I noticed that you used 1 cup less sugar and no lemon juice in the lemon beet pickle recipe, than what is listed in my Jean Paré cookbook.

Why is that?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Jan, the lemon beet pickles uses whole lemons reducing the need to add additional lemon juice. The recipe is directly from her 1994 cookbook, Preserves. I did not change the quantities of any of the ingredients but I did test the pH to be sure it was in the safe zone for using a BWB canner.