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PICKLED HOT PEPPERS

8 pint (500mL) jars

The most common hot peppers available in today's markets include Hungarian, hot banana, chili and jalapeño peppers. Sweet bell peppers provide flavor balance.

3 lb hot peppers* 1.4 kg

2 red sweet bell peppers, cut into strips 2

2 green sweet bell peppers, cut into strips 2

PICKLING LIQUID

5 cups white vinegar 1.25 L

5 cups water 1.25 L

2 ½ tbsp pickling salt 35 mL

1 tbsp granulated sugar 15 mL

Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 8 clean pint (500 mL) mason jars in canner over high heat.

Make pickling liquid: combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil gently while packing jars.

Place Snap Lids in boiling water; boil 5 minutes to soften sealing compound.

Pack a mixture of hot peppers with bell pepper strips snugly into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot brine to cover peppers to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (head space). Remove air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula between glass and food; readjust head space to 1/2 inch (1 cm). Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center Snap Lid on jar; apply screw band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat for remaining peppers and brine.

Cover canner; return water to a boil; process 15 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m). Remove jars. Cool 24 hours. Check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; store separately. Wipe jars, label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

* Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers.