The Pickled PantryFrom Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys & More

Beginners will welcome the simple, low-fuss methods and thorough coverage of the basics, and dedicated home canners will love the large-batch recipes and the stunning variety of flavors.

Half-Sour Dill Pickles. Salt-Cured Dilly Beans. Sauerkraut. Kimchi. Classic Hot Sauce. Cortido with Cilantro. Rosemary Onion Confit. Italian Tomato Relish. Chow Chow. Korean-Style Pickled Garlic. With Andrea Chesman’s expert guidance, you’ll love making these and dozens of other fresh, contemporary recipes for pickling everything from apples to zucchini. Beginners will welcome the simple, low-fuss methods and thorough coverage of the basics, and dedicated home canners will love the large-batch recipes and the stunning variety of flavors.

Andrea Chesman is the author of many cookbooks, including The Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, Pickles and Relishes, Mom’s Best One-Dish Suppers, and The Vegetarian Grill, which was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award and won a National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. She is a co-author of Mom’s Best Desserts and The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, and her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Organic Gardening, Fine Cooking, and other publications. Chesman lives in Ripton, Vermont, with her husband and two sons.

09/21/2012 7:00 pm
Mother Earth News Fair
Seven Springs, PA

Recipes:Vermont Maple Sweet Pickles & Ginger Pear Chutney



Vermont Maple Sweet Pickles by the pint


Vermonters take their maple syrup seriously. Very seriously. So, if you are going to use maple syrup in a recipe, it better be pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup made of corn syrup and maple flavoring. And the darker the grade of syrup, the better. Vermont Fancy (US Grade A Light Amber) syrup, made from the first collected sap, is lightest in color and flavor. As the season progresses, the sap darkens and the syrup maker makes Vermont Grade A Medium Amber maple syrup, then Vermont Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup, and finally Vermont Grade B maple syrup: the strongest and darkest table-grade syrup. That’s the grade I prefer for these pickles, but any grade can be used. The flavor of these pickles has a subtle maple sweetness.



2 cups cucumbers cut into ¾-inch chunks, blossom ends removed

½ small onion, sliced

2 teaspoons pickling or fine sea salt, or more if needed

½ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup pure maple syrup water

1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices, store-bought or homemade (page 18)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Pickle Crisp Granules (optional)


1. Combine the cucumbers, onion, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Cover the vegetables with ice water and let stand for at least 2 hours, and up to 6 hours. Drain. Taste a piece of cucumber. If it isn’t decidedly salty, toss with 1 to 2 teaspoons pickling salt. If it is too salty (which it never is for me), rinse in water.


2. Combine the cider vinegar and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the maple syrup. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.


3. Pack the mixed pickling spices and coriander seeds into a clean hot 1-pint canning jar. Pack in the cucumbers and onions. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture. It will not cover the vegetables, so top off with the boiling water, leaving ½ inch headspace. Add a rounded 1/8 teaspoon of Pickle Crisp to the jar, if using. Remove any air bubbles and seal.


Ginger Pear Chutney Makes 10 half-pints


“Connie’s Pear Chutney”:   I don’t know who Connie was, but I do know that when I asked friends about their favorite recipes from my Pickles and Relishes, this chutney was mentioned frequently.



10 cups peeled, cored, and sliced firm ripe pears (about 5 pounds)

½ green bell pepper, finely chopped

1½ cups raisins

1 cup chopped crystallized ginger

4 cups sugar

3 cups cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pickling or fine sea salt

½ teaspoon allspice berries

½ teaspoon whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks


1. Combine the pears, bell pepper, raisins, crystallized ginger, sugar, cider vinegar, and salt in a large saucepan. Tie the allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in a spice bag (see How to Make a Spice Bag, page 20) and add to the mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Decrease the heat and simmer until the pears are tender and the mixture is thick, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The chutney will thicken and become jamlike.


2. Remove the spice bag. Ladle the chutney into clean hot half-pint canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and seal.


3. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, according to the directions on page 31. Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place.


Kitchen Notes

Crystallized ginger gives an important crunch and sweetness to the chutney; don’t substitute another form of ginger. Crystallized ginger is found in the spice department of most grocery stores.


Harvesting or finding perfect pears is the challenge for all pear recipes. Because pears ripen from the inside out, they will be mushy on the inside if left on the tree until fully ripe on the outside. So pear growers pick the pears when “mature,” but not ripe. Then they subject them to cold temperatures, after which they will ripen on your counter. To tell if a pear is ready for eating, press near the stem with your thumb; there should be some amount of give to the area. Then rush to make this chutney — a ripe pear becomes overripe very quickly.


Excerpted from The Pickled Pantry © Andrea Chesman used with permission from Storey Publishing

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