Day 3 of Pickle Week! So far, we’ve looked at Dill Pickles and Pickled Beets, how about some Pickled Carrots?
These and beets are pretty much the only exceptions to my intense aversion to sweet pickles… but a little sweetness suits carrots and beets in a way that just seems wrong for cucumbers, IMNSHO. Not TOO much sweetness, though!
These are great – clean tasting, and perfectly crunchy. I love the way the apple cider vinegar works with the carrot flavor, but feel free to substitute regular vinegar (5%) if you prefer.
Because the brine is the same across the jars – the flavors are added to the jars before the carrots and brine – it’s really easy to make several different flavors of carrot pickles at a time. My two favorites are represented here – dilled and ginger – but feel free to go a little wild with it. Coriander, hot pepper flakes, sliced habaneros… add whatever flavors you think you’d like with carrots, directly to the jars!
A few notes about pickling:
1. The amount of brine you’re going to need will vary widely depend on the shape and size of your carrot slices, the size of jar you use, and how well you pack them into the jar. Have a lot of extra vinegar on hand, and either make more brine than you think you’ll need, or be prepared to make more as you go.
2. Pickling salt is usually available with the canning supplies in any grocery store. You’ll want to use this, rather than regular table salt – the anti-caking additives in table salt can make your pickle brine go murky and ugly.
3. While you can use previously-used jars for canning (when WELL washed and sterilized!), you need new lids for each new batch. Safety first!
Homemade Carrot Pickles
~ 5 lbs carrots (washed, peeled, and sliced)
5 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup pickling salt
Per pint jar (2x for quart jars):
For Ginger Carrot Pickles:
2 thin slices fresh ginger
For Dilled Carrot Pickles:
1 head fresh dill (or 1 tsp dill seed)
Clean, sterilized canning jars & rings
New, never-used, sterilized canning lids
LARGE pot to process them in
Jar lifter (nice to have, not necessary if you can handle pain!)
Slice your carrots into whatever form you prefer – we like to do spears in pint jars, cutting them to lengths that perfectly fit the height of the jars.
Fill your LARGE pot with at least 6″ of water, put on medium or high heat to bring it to a boil as you prepare your brine.
In another pot (NOT the canning pot!), combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar and salt. As the brine heats up, measure your “per jar” ingredients into your sterilized jars. Arrange your prepared carrots into the jars, packing them tightly.
Once brine comes to a boil, use a canning funnel to pour brine into prepared jars, leaving about 1/2″ head space. Wipe off the top edges of the jar with a clean, wet towel, top each with a new, sterilized lid, and carefully screw on a clean lid ring. I like to use a kitchen towel for this, the jars are HOT! Carefully place your jars of pickles into the boiling water pot, allow to process for 15 minutes. CAREFULLY remove them, allow to cool overnight.
The next morning, check to make sure that all of the jars achieved a proper seal – try to push down in the middle of each lid. If it “pops”, it did not seal. Any jars that didn’t seal should be put in the fridge and used in the next few weeks.
Leave the jars alone for at least a few days, to allow the flavors to permeate the carrots. Store in a cool, dark area (ideally) for up to 1 year, chill well before eating.