I mentioned back in Brandied Fig post that the reason I was at the market was to find cherry peppers. I didn’t grow any this year and it just would not be the same if I didn’t have at least a few jars put up in storage for the winter.
I first had these many years ago when my sister gave me a jar as a gift at Christmas. She was living in Rochester, New York and has bought a bushel at the farmers market. I think she was buried in them and was trying to get rid of the surplus! They were tangy, sweet, with a little heat. I think I ate them all straight from the jar!
While eating them that way is certainly wonderful, they are also quite good on an antipasti tray, stuffed with cream cheese as hors d’ourves, sliced and put on sandwiches, in salads, minced and added to sauces or gravies. These versatile jewels deserve a place on your shelf!
Inspired by these thoughts, I left the office to check out the farmers market that is held on a plaza in the city every Thursday. It’s a brisk 10 minute walk each way so it was a welcome break to my normal routine of taking lunch in the office kitchen.
I scouted the stalls.
Only two seemed to have them and I wasn’t happy about the prices. One was $3/pint box – about a dozen, and another had them at 25 cents/each (Robbery!) or seven for a dollar. I spoke with the purveyor with the pint boxes – he only had four left. Could I get a break if I bought them all and why only a few? I did get a break, and he promised to bring more next week, and sell at a per pound price which was more reasonable. And so I came to have enough to can a few jars to begin with.
This is a simple pickle. It takes 8-10 peppers to fill a pint jar depending on size of peppers. It might be easier to do some in quarts as well.
Pickled Cherry Peppers
For 4 pints
40 cherry peppers washed, and stems trimmed
2 3/4 cups distilled vinegar (be sure to use 5% acidity)
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Prepare hot water bath, including canning jars and lids
- In medium sauce pan combine vinegar, water, honey, and salt
- Bring to a boil reduce heat but keep hot
- Pack peppers into hot jars
- Pour hot brine over jarred peppers, leaving 1/2″ head space
- Wipe rims, add lids and bands, tighten bands snug but not over tight
- Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes, starting timer when water returns to a boil
- After 15 minutes turn off heat and allow jars to rest in bath about 5 minutes
- Remove from water and allow to cool completely
- Check seals, and store. If any jars did not seal, put them in refrigerator and use within a few weeks.
I’m going to let these steep for a few weeks before I start using them. And next week I’ll get a few more pounds at the market and put up some quart jars.
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!