Pickling this years Chilli crop
Today I made some pickled Chillies with a variety of Chillies that I harvested as part of this year’s Chilli crop. It is a good way of preserving Chillies and was extremely easy to do. Having done this, besides pickling Chillies it now means that out of this years harvest I have been able to make Chilli powder, fermented Chillies and will shortly making hot sauce. I have also frozen quite a few.
All that I needed for the pickling was the Chillies, some vinegar, water, sugar, salt, spices and the mason jars that I used to do the pickling. I also needed a pot , a cutting board and a sharp knife.
Once I had all of these together , the first step in the pickling process was to sterilise the jars. I did this by washing them in warm soapy water and then rinsing them in fresh warm water, I then let them air dry.
Once this had been done, I placed them in an oven that I had preheated to 100 hundred degrees Celsius for ten minutes. This will have killed off any harmful bacteria. In addition to this, the use of vinegar in the pickling process helps to keep the Chillies free from air borne bacteria like Botulism. The acidity in vinegar deters the growth of Botulism spores which otherwise might have been a problem; as Chillies are not acidic in themselves
The next step was to remove the stalks from the three hundred grams of mixed Chillies I was using I then sliced them in half and packed them tightly into two mason jars. One jar is 500 millilitres and the other 350. In both instances the jars were filled to eighty percent of their total volume. I did this because it is essential that the Chillies are completely submerged in vinegar to prevent spoilage The only thing that was then needed was to make the pickling solution
The next step
Making the pickling liquid
To do this I poured one cup and quarter of pickling vinegar and a cup and quarter of water into a pot and brought it to the boil. I then added two teaspoons of white sugar, one and a half teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of mustard seeds, four bay leaves and one and a half teaspoons of fennel seeds. I stirred the mixture until the salt and the sugar had dissolved.
I now poured the pickling liquid over the Chillies, making sure that they completely submerged in the vinegar. Not doing so could have resulted in a mould forming on the Chillies. I then screwed on the lids’I inverted the 350 ml jar for a couple of minutes. I then brought it upright again. This had the effect of bringing any air that was in the pickling liquid to the top. The final step was to unscrew the lid, release the air and then reseal the jar
I also did an experiment with the fermentation kit I recently bought. It consists of lids with valves that can be screwed onto jars and a pump that is used to extract any air from the jars. Using this kit meant that I was able to eliminate the inversion step to remove any air from the jar that I followed with 350 ml bottle. I simply attached the pump to the valve and pumped it until a vacuum had been created in the jar
I placed the jars in the refrigerator and will let the Chillies pickle for about a week before we eat them. Once they have been opened it will be essential to keep them refrigerated.
To make the pickled Chillies more Keto friendly substitute the sugar with four teaspoons or Erythritol