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Canning book recipes too sweet

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I'm using the Ball Book of HOme preserving and I'm finding the  recipes to be to sweet, so far I've done antipasto relish and veggie pickles.  Can I just reduce the sugar in the recipe?  I read to be careful about making adjustments to canning recipes so I was worried about changing the sugar ration.  Yuck - I like some sweet but these are just overload!

Dene B.:
I noticed that about the Ball Canning book.. and the pickled foods are sometimes overwhelmed by vinegar as well.   I've tried some other books, most of which I found at my local library.  You might take a look at Preserving Summer's Bounty, it's published by Rodale..  I used some recipes from it that turned out a lot better than the Ball recipes.   

Is there any way to adjust the recipes?  I just bought this book and would like to make it work...otherwise what a waste of $ :(

I used the dill pickle recipe from that book and when I tasted them, I too found it way too sweet.  Now I think none of them are going to be to my taste. Wish I had tried them before I did all the other 12 jars!  The instructions say to use it EXACTLY, so you don't know how to adjust...any other good recipes out there for next year?

Well... even if you don't like the pickle recipes, the book has lots of good info. about canning other things, like fruits, meats, etc. And, the methodology is very well described and the safety precautions in there.

I have had good success with old family pickle recipes and also with recipes from my (very old) Better Homes cookbook in the canning section. I was actually a bit surprised to see sugar as a part of the dill pickle recipe at all. My recipe (from my grandma) has no sugar at all.

Here is a basic dill pickle recipe:

for each quart:
1/2 lb 4-inch cucumbers (5-6)
3-4 heads fresh dill
1 tsp mustard seed
2 c. water (if you have a water softener, buy bottled water, the softened water will make your pickles waaaay too salty)
1 c. cider vinegar
1 T. granulated pickling salt (not iodized table salt)

Scrub cucumbers and then pack in hot quart jars, leaving 1/2 in headspace. for ea. qt, add the dill and mustard seed. Make a brine by combining water, vinegar and salt. Bring to boiling. Slowly pour hot brine over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 in headspace. Adjust lids. Process in water bath for 20 minutes or whatever the current ball canning book recommends (this is an old recipe).


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