Maybe I Can’t Jam Carrots, But I Can Pickle them!

Ok, so I could in theory jam carrots.  In fact, Tigress jammed hers, but I opted for pickles.  It seemed the natural thing to do with carrots.  I scoured the internet for recipes and ended up modifying a recipe for gardiniera.  I increased the vinegar because the original recipe was for refrigerator-style pickled veggies and not canned and safety is a concern when canning. 

I wanted so badly to use local carrots.  I thought for certain I could find them.  Alas, there were none to be found.  Not at the Mercato.  Not at Oryana.  Definitely not at the grocery.  I even E-mailed the folks at Providence Farm.  They had carrots.  Unfortunately they are in the ground still.  Andrea was confident that they’d be good for soup or stew if I wanted them, but I wanted crisp carrots so I had to settle for organic carrots from California.

I bought two bags and brought them home.  And waited.  And waited.  The kids ate a good chunk of my carrots before I yelled at them.  I bought another bag.  And waited.  I realized that I didn’t have any of the tall jelly jars that I wanted for this particular project.  I bought jars.  I went to the store and bought new vinegar. (That is a whole post in itself and I’m on a deadline, so I’ll get back to this.  See, I told you I’d get to it.)

Finally, I was ready to can.  I peeled carrots.  I even got Gwen to help me peel carrots.  Once the carrots were peeled, I trimmed them so that they would fit in my jars with adequate head space.  See?

Peeled carrots

Only the thin tips of the carrots would make it into my jars this time.

These are the tips from 5-ish punds of carrots.  Once the carrots were prepped, I put my jars into my oven at 200 degrees so that they wouldn’t shatter when I poured hot brine in them, turned on the boiling water bath and started the pickling brine:

3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
the seeds from a Farmers’ Market pepper that I dried this summer

Bring the brine to a boil and add carrots.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Pack hot carrots into hot jars, fill with brine leaving 1/2″ headspace, lid the jars and process in boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Inverted jars of pickled carrots

Three measly 12 oz. jars??

One would think that 6 pounds of carrots would result in more than three jars.  It did, but there weren’t enough spears to fill another jar so unfortunately, I had to eat the extra spears.  They were delicious.  I had more brine left, so I sliced some more carrots and boiled them in the brine for two minutes. 

Pickled carrot slices

Slices aren't as pretty as spears, but they are just as tasty.

I managed to fill one pint jar with carrot coins, but Gwen and I finished at least another pint before they ever hit a jar.

Now, I just have to contact Lelo in Nopo and order up my fancy-shmancy labels. 

Today I bought four more pounds of carrots, but I will be planting lots this year because these pickled carrots are a hit!

Previous Can Jam entries:

January: Blood Orange Marmalade

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5 Comments

Filed under canning, food

5 responses to “Maybe I Can’t Jam Carrots, But I Can Pickle them!

  1. Well done! I jammed my carrots because I don’t like pickles.

  2. These look and sound great! Really? You heat your jars in the oven instead of boiling them before filling? Interesting. Still haven’t opened mine, but I’m reassured about pickled carrots now! 🙂

    • aastricker

      I don’t always bake them, but the water bath wasn’t hot yet and the oven was preheating anyway. I’ve even been known to fill them with water and microwave them in a pinch.

  3. Pingback: Can Jam Challenge Round Three ~ Jerked Onion « Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City

  4. Pingback: May Can Jam ~ Pickled Asparagus « Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City

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