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Yield: 4 pint jars
Making and canning your own pickled spiced green tomatoes is an excellent way to put up some more tasty tomatoes for the winter and use up the green tomatoes from your garden when you need to pick them before the first Autumn frost comes!
I'll have some photos coming in a few weeks (the day before the first hard frost in my garden!)
Small green paste, Roma or plum tomatoes are suitable for this pickle.
Wash the tomatoes in a colander under running cool water.
Here's a trick you may not know: put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 - 45 seconds is usually enough)
Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.
This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes! If you leave the skins in, they become tough and chewy.
BUT... I'll be the first to tell you that this works much better with ripe tomatoes that green tomatoes. If you can't get them off... don't sweat it, just move on to the next step. The trick is using very hot boiling water in a large pot, a few tomatoes at a time, and lots of ice.
Make a syrup of the sugar, vinegar and spices:
Drop in the whole peeled tomatoes and boil them until they become clear (about 10 to 20 minutes)
Remove the tomatoes from the syrup, using a slotted spoon and gently pack the tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Don't pack too tightly. SAVE THE SYRUP - don't discard it!
Now strain the syrup and use it to fill the jars, covering the tomatoes with the syrup, again leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
Wipe the rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust the two-piece metal canning lids. Then "Process" - boil the jars for 15 minutes in a Boiling Water Canner, being sure the tops of the jars are covered by 1.5 to 2 inches of water. Longer (see the table below) if you are above 1,000 ft in elevation.
|Recommended process time for Spiced Green Tomatoes in a boiling-water canner.|
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Using your jar tongs, gently remove the jars and set them to cool in a draft-free area. I let them cool on a wooden cutting board or a towel, without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped.
After cooling, you can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture.
Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok. You're done!
That's it. You can eat them right away or wait a week
for them to develop full flavor. They should stay good to
eat for a year or so, if you keep them in a cool, dark place,
like a basement.
This document was adapted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.
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