Ironically, right before the February ingredient was announced, I used the last of my carrots that I grew in my garden last summer. They lasted from September until January in a Debbie Myer "Green Bag" in my fridge. Well, now I have some pickled carrots to last me a little longer.
I looked at A LOT of recipes. I found some that were for quick pickles that looked really tasty, but I was wary of adapting the recipe for canning. One, in particular, called for rice vinegar and red chilies. Sounds yummy, but not suitable for canning as rice vinegar is only 4% acidity.
So, I settled for a recipe from the Naitonal Center for Home Food Preservation's plain jane pickled carrot recipe. Nothin' fancy, but nobody's getting food poisoning off these, either. The reason I joined the Can Jam was to get some great recipes, so I'm hoping you guys have some fabulous canned carrot variations for me to try.
Slicing on a slight bias made them a little fancy.
2¾ pounds peeled carrots (about 3½ pounds as purchased)
5½ cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons canning salt
8 teaspoons mustard seed
4 teaspoons celery seed
Yield: About 4 pint jars
1. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids and bands according to manufacturer's directions.
2. Wash and peel carrots well. Wash again after peeling and cut into rounds that are approximately ½-inch thick.
3. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and canning salt in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil gently 3 minutes. Add carrots and bring back to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and heat until the carrots are half-cooked (about 10 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons mustard seed and 1 teaspoon celery seed in the bottom of each clean, hot pint jar.
5. Fill hot jars with the hot carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover with hot pickling liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids.
6. Process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes for under 1,000 feet elevation, 20 minutes for 1,000 to 6,000 feet, or 25 minutes for over 6,000 feet, for hot-packed jars in a boiling water canner. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Allow carrots to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before consuming for best flavor development.
I had about 1/2 a cup left over after I filled up 3 pints, so I put them in the fridge. I can't wait to try them this weekend. I figured I'd let them soak for a week to get the flavor going. We'll see how they turned out.