Monday, March 18, 2024

Joey's Pickled Garlic


    A few weeks ago, my nephew, Dan (aka Daniel Boone), sent me a picture of one of his favorite things... a jar of pickled garlic. I said "oh, I could make that for you, no sweat!" So I went to Amazon and ordered a big bag of already peeled garlic, and when it arrived I started throwing pickling ingredients into a pot. I figured, how hard can it be, right? Pickling anything is just about as easy as it gets! I asked him if he wanted it more on the sweet side or more savory? More savory won the coin toss, and this is where I landed. (I still added just a little bit of sugar, just to balance everything. )
OMG it turned out so good!
 So now, just like pickling anything, the longer you let it stay, the better it tastes. Danial Boone's birthday is in a few weeks, so it'll be perfect by then!! Boom.
Oh, one other thing... This recipe filled EIGHT pint jars. If you have no need for that much pickled garlic in your life, feel free to cut the recipe down to suit your needs. Great then.

5 lbs peeled whole garlic cloves
4 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs pickling spice blend
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
Wash and rinse 8 pint size mason jars. Fill each jar with whole raw cloves of garlic.
In a medium pot, place all pickling ingredients. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly. Pour vinegar mixture over garlic to fill each jar. 
Place two piece lids on each jar. Store in the fridge for several weeks.
To seal the jars: After pouring the warm vinegar over the garlic, use a skewer or chopstick to get out all the air bubbles, adjust the level of brine to one inch head space, then process the jars in a water bath canner for 20 minutes. Remove to a cloth lined tray or countertop until completely cooled, (several hours or overnight.) Best to leave them to marinate for a few weeks before cracking into them!

If you're not familiar with water bath canning, it's easy to learn. Just watch a few youtube videos. You'll be canning like a pro in no time. 
Feel free to adjust the flavors. If you want it sweeter, add up to another cup of sugar. 
if you want more heat, add a hot pepper to each jar, or add some more crushed red pepper flakes. 
Don't like apple cider vinegar? Use any kind you like! Just be sure that it's 5% acidity if you plan to do the water bath canning. 

Oh wait! I forgot to mention one other thing!
It doesn't happen all the time, but it's very possible that your garlic might turn blue when you pickle it. Yup! It's a thing!  Blue garlic. Like, BRIGHT BLUE. But fear not! This is perfectly natural and perfectly edible!
It's caused by an enzyme in the garlic that reacts with any kind of acid. You might have experienced this in your regular cooking when you add lemon juice to your garlic. Crazy, huh? True story.


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