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Pickled Beets

For the Beets: You will need about:

14 lbs of beets will yield about 8 quarts of pickled beets

OR just under 1 pound of beets per pint of pickled beets.

For the Brine:

4 cups brown sugar

3 cups white vinegar

5 cups boiling water

This makes enough for about 12 pints of pickled beets.

You will also need a few tablespoons of Allspice.

 

Preparation:

Prepare your beets by: sorting by size, cook the various sizes separately because of the length of cooking time needed.

Cook and blanch beets: Boil beets whole (with an inch of the tops on) in water- approximately 10 minutes for small beets, 20 minutes for medium, and 30 min or more for large beets. Cook them until just barely knife point tender. Try not to over or under cook them as this will affect the quality of your finished product. Drain beets and quickly submerge them in a large bowl with ice cubes and water for 2 minutes. Cut the tops off and slip off the outer skin. If skins don’t slip off easily then beets are under cooked. Cut beets into the desired shapes- slices or quarters or small ones can remain whole.

Prepare your canning jars: Sterilize jars. I prefer to put them into the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and try to have them ready by the time the beets will be ready. I remove one or two jars at a time from the hot dishwasher and closing the dishwasher to keep others hot. Lids, wash new lids and place lids in hot water for 10 minutes to soften the rubber seals.

Fill jars: Fill hot jars with your prepared and still warm beets packing them in and lodging them snugly so that they will not float once brine is added. Add a pinch of powdered allspice into each PINT jar (two pinches for quarts). Pour hot brine over the beets and allspice in the jar to within 3/4 inch of the top of the jar. Use a ladle or small pitcher. [Tip: Use a small pitcher with NO printing or markings on it (ie: No glass measuring cups). The hot brine can soften or remove the markings on your cup.] Be cautious of hot brine- it can boil furiously if not stirred in a while when kept hot on the stove. Using a clean warm and damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the upper edge of the jar. This will help to ensure a good seal. Place a warmed lid and then the jar ring and screw down to just snug but not extremely tight.

Water Process Bath: place prepared jars in a water bath canner. Jars must be submerged by one to two inches of water. Simmer for 20 minutes for quarts; 15 minutes for pints.

Carefully remove jars from canner and place on a towel. (Do not place directly on a room temperature counter. The shock of this type of temperature change could cause jars to crack and break.) Allow jars to cool naturally for the next few hours. You will hear “pops” of the lids as they cool and seal. The metal lids will be concave to also show that the jars are sealed. If some do not seal, Just refrigerate them and use them first and within the next couple of months. Other jars may be stored in a cold, dark room.

 

 

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