Last year, at a UCCE Master Food Preserver class, I tasted my first fruit pickle. It was a pickled cherry. It was a wonderful burst of sweet and tang, all at once.
Join the Master Food Preservers on Saturday, July 26 and Tuesday, July 29 for a free pickling class.
Learn the techniques to make basic pickles and relishes, and how to make fermented sauerkraut. Fermentation techniques not only preserve the sauerkraut, but also produce natural probiotics that increase healthy gut flora when eaten fresh.
This recipe for fruit pickles uses summer stone fruit. These tangy tasty pieces of fruit are wonderful on a crudite tray, served with meat or tofu, or served with green vegetables and a creamy dressing.
Yield: About 3 quarts.
4 quarts small peaches, pears or apricots
Whole cloves, as needed
6 cinnamon sticks (3 inch pieces)
8 cups sugar (4 cups granulated and 4 cups brown or 8 cups brown sugar)*
1 quart vinegar (5 percent acidity)
*Less sugar may be used for a more tart pickle.
Dip freestone peaches into boiling water to loosen the skins. Clings and pears must be peeled. Apricots need not be peeled.
Stick each peach, pear or apricot with 2 to 4 cloves or put cloves in a clean, thin, white cloth and tie top tightly.
Boil spices, sugar and vinegar together for 2 minutes. Put half the fruit into syrup and boil gently until tender. Remove. Put remaining half of fruit into syrup and boil until tender. Pack hot fruit and syrup into clean, hot jars. Leave a headspace of ½ inch. Remove bubbles and adjust headspace by adding more liquid, if needed.
Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids, tightening rings finger tight. Process in a boiling water canner according to these recommendations: 10 minutes at altitudes of 0-1,000 feet; 15 minutes at altitudes of 1,001-6,000 feet; and 20 minutes at altitudes above 6,000 feet.
Source: Pickles, Relishes and Chutneys UC Publication No. 4080
This year’s annual series of free UCCE Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County classes are from 10 a.m.-noon in the El Dorado County Fairground’s Boardroom at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville.
Master Food Preservers are also available to answer home food preservation questions. Leave a message at 530-621-5506.
For more information about the public education classes and activities go to the Master Food Preserver Website at ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/Master_Food_Preservers/. Sign up to receive the Master Food Preservers e-newsletter at ucanr.org/mfpenews/. Find UCCE Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County on facebook, too.