If you are following along with the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, then you know that July’s challenge is hot pack preserving.
This method of preserving is the act of putting food that is warm or cooked into jars and then processing them. Think tomato sauce, salsa, dilled carrot spears, BBQ sauce, even jam and jelly are hot pack preserves. Find more details about hot pack preserving and the pros and cons of this method here.
This recipe for Dilled Carrot Spears was first demonstrated by Marisa McClellan at our booth at the PA Farm Show. It’s a tasty and easy way to achieve try your hand at hot pack preserves. A big thanks to Marisa for sharing this recipe with us.
1 pound/460 g carrots
1 cup/240 ml cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling salt, divided
1 teaspoon dill seeds, divided
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided
2 garlic cloves, divided
Prepare a boiling water bath and 2 (12-ounce/360 ml) jelly jars. Place 2 lids in a small saucepan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Bring to a boil a separate small saucepan of water in which to blanch the carrots. Peel the carrots and trim to fit the jars. Cut into thin sticks.
When the water comes to a boil, drop in the carrots and cook for 90 seconds. Remove the carrots from the water and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Divide the spices and garlic cloves between the jars and pack in the carrot sticks on top of the spices.
Combine the vinegar, 1 cup of water, and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Pour the boiling brine over the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch/12 mm of headspace. Tap the jars gently to remove any air bubbles. Add more liquid to return the headspace to 1/2 inch/12 mm, if necessary. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Note: To make these without the canning step, increase the blanching time to 3 minutes. That’s just enough cooking to ensure that they’re tender enough to absorb the brine but still snappy.