Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quick Pickles and Pear Butter

It really is fall now. So much canning to do! I thought I would provide our quick pickle recipe for the benefit of anyone else wanting to try them. We've had good results in terms of crunchiness with this recipe, from the Encyclopedia of Country Living.

Quick Dill Pickles

4 lbs. pickling cucumbers
14 cloves garlic
14 heads dill
28 peppercorns

3 cups water
2 3/4 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
1/4 cup pickling salt

Wash your cucumbers. Slice the blossom end off, and slice lengthwise into spears, or leave whole (if small enough). Sterilize jars. Boil salt, water, and vinegar together. Place two cloves of garlic, two dill heads, and four peppercorns in each jar. Pack the jars with cucumber slices. Pour hot, boiling brine over the cukes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Place lids and screw on rings, and water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit for a few weeks before opening. Yum!

We like to add to salmon fish salad, for sandwiches.

Pear Butter

Quarter your ripe pears, and place in a large kettle. Place over low heat until softened. Run through a food mill to remove stems, seeds, cores, and skins. Return to heat and cook down slowly (a flame spreader or double boiling helps prevent burning and sticking) until the butter thickens where you want it. This can take several days, and may attract yellow jackets! Pack hot into sterile jars, place lids, and water bath for 10 minutes.

Use on pancakes, waffles, as a stand alone treat, in yogurt, etc. It's sweet, thick, and yummy!

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