Growing up I have always loved pickled beets so when I saw a large basket of beets for $3.99 at Block's Farm Stand I decided I need to put some up this year. I have my grandmother's recipe that I grew up with, but to be on the safe side I used the vinegar/water/sugar/salt proportions recommended by the NCHFP but adapted their recipe to taste like my grandma's recipe by omitting the cloves and onions.
My girlfriend, Sylwia, came over and we spent a fun evening pickling the beets. It ended up taking quite a while since the basket ended up making three batches of the recipe, but at the end of the night we had 24 half pints of delicious pickled beets. It's like having a taste of my childhood in a jar.
- 7 pounds beets
- 4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Scrub beets thoroughly and cook until tender in boiling water (about 25 to 30 minutes).
Drain the beets, discard the liquid and let the beets cool. Slip off the skins or peel them if the skins are being a little stubborn. Slice the beets into 1/4-inch slices. I used an egg slicer which worked really well.
Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, cinnamon and fresh water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add beets and simmer for five minutes.
If you aren't familiar with canning, I cover the basics in my post about canning applesauce. Remove the cinnamon and fill jars with beets leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Pour hot vinegar solution over the beets leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
If you are at sea level (altitudes less than 1000 feet) then you will need to process pint or quart jars for 30 minutes. If you are at a higher altitude check the NCHFP processing times for pickled beets.