Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Preserve

Pickled Cucumbers

condiments, Dinner, Preserve, Snacks, technique, Vegetables, vegan, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Pickled Cucumbers

Pickled Cucumbers

My parents grew their own vegetable in their large vegetable garden, and of course my mom made sure to preserve the large amount of produce by pickling and freezing. We all loved my moms pickled cucumbers, with our dinner or on the open faced sandwiches. Especially on liverpate. So when I found crown dill and pickling cucumbers at my local grocery store, I had to try my moms old recipe. I have a hard time learning that the pickled cucumbers in my world are called pickles here in the States, but eventually I might learn to accept it. 😉

5-8 jars.

Ingredients:

Brine:

  • 200 g salt

  • 2 liters (68 oz) water

Pickling:

  • 1500 g pickling cucumbers

  • 1250 ml vinegar

  • 780 g sugar

  • 13-15 slices fresh horseradish

  • 5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 8 crown dill (1-2 in each jar)

  • 6-8 dried red chilies

Direction:

Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Prick cucumbers with a table fork. Set aside. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers. Place a plate on top to keep the cucumbers submerged. Let stand 12 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the cucumber and place them in scolded* jars. Add horseradish, dill and the spices to the jars.

I sliced 4 of the cucumbers in thick slices for some more spicy pickles. I placed the slices in 2 smaller jars with 1 fatalii chili in one and 1 habanero chili in the other. HOT HOT HOT  🌶 🌶 🌶  

Boil the vinegar with the sugar, and pour it in the jars, making sure to cover the cucumbers completely. Place the lid on the jars, not tightening them completely.

After 2 days, drain out the vinegar and let it come to a boil, maybe adding more vinegar and sugar. Pour the vinegar over the cucumbers again, adding new horseradish and/or sodium benzoate. Seal the jars tight. Do not boil the horseradish.

*You need to clean the jars and sterilize them by soaking them in boiling water. Same goes for the lids. Submerge the lid for a few minutes in a bowl of boiling water. Rinse jars and lids with alcohol like strong vodka or cognac. 

These will keep for a few months at room temperature, but you can keep them in the refrigerator  too. In my house they won't last long.

Pickled Chilies

condiments, Preserve, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment

Last Sunday I went to my local Farmer's Market looking for chili peppers. I have been wanting to pickle chilies for so long. Last year I grew my own, but I used them all in my cooking, leaving no leftovers to pickle. I returned home with a bag filled with habanero, jalapeño, serrano, thai and a no-name red chili pepper. I made a new batch of hot hot sauce and then it was time to pickle the rest.

I like my pickled chilies to be slightly salty and not overly sweet. The sweeter ones are more difficult to pair with dinner. I think I got the right mix of sweet, salty and tanginess to my take in this batch.  

Makes 2 medium jars.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g mixed chili peppers (jalapeño, serrano, thai, habanero), sliced
  • 500 ml vinegar
  • 85 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Directions:

Bring the vinegar to a boil, add all the sliced chili peppers, and bring it all to a boil. Remove the chilies using a slotted spoon. Place the chilies in 2 cleaned and sterilized* glass jars. 

Add sugar, salt, bay leaves and coriander seeds to the vinegar, and bring it to a boil again. Make sure that sugar and salt is dissolved before pouring the hot vinegar over the chilies. Put the lids on the jars, and wipe the jars clean. Let the pickled chilies cool.

The chilies will keep for at least a month. I only make small batches and keep them in the refrigerator. 

Serve the chilies on sandwiches, as hot snacks or where ever you need a kick to your food. 

Enjoy!

*You need to clean the jars and sterilize them by soaking them in boiling water. It goes the same with the lids. Submerge the lid for a few minutes in a bowl of boiling water. 

Blackberry Jam

Breakfast, Brunch, Jam, PreserveTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry jam is my favorite. It reminds me of my mom. She made the best blackberry jam. My parents had a few blackberry plants in their yard. During summer we picked the berries as they ripened, and were frozen until there was enough to make a batch of jam. 

At least one jar was saved for christmas, to be served with the ebelskiver. I intend to do the same.

My blackberry jam is, like my moms jam, a thin jam. If you don't like your jam to be runny, you can add pectin to the jam according to the instructions on the package.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g blackberries
  • 325 g sugar
  • ½ lemon, the juice of

Directions:

Rinse the berries and discard the bad or unripe berries.

Preheat the oven to about 390℉ (200℃), and heat the sugar in a ovenproof bowl. (This will prevent the jam from cooling too much, and will make the sugar dissolve more quickly).  

In a small saucepan heat the berries and lemon juice over medium low heat, until it comes to a simmer. Let the berries simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat.

Add the sugar, stir carefully so you don’t break the berries up too much.

Scald the jars and lids with boiling water. Be careful not to touch the inside. Use tongs to handle jars and lids. Fill jars while still hot. 

Pour the hot jam into hot, scalded jars and seal with scalded lids. See National Center for Home Food Preservation for additional information on safe food preservation.

Enjoy!

 

Boysenberry Jam

Breakfast, Brunch, Jam, PreserveTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Boysenberry Jam

Boysenberry Jam

Jam is one of the best ways to save the taste of summer for later. My mom always made a lot of fruit jams. It might not be the cheapest way, but by far the most flavorful. And by making your own you know what's in it.

Makes about 1 liter.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 g boysenberries
  • 725 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Set aside approximately ¼ of the berries in the refrigerator. Combine the remaining berries and  sugar in a large bowl, and set them aside to macerate overnight in the fridge.

Next morning the berries has released their juice and some of the sugar has dissolved. When you do this, you don't have to add any water. (By adding water, you just have to evaporate it again by boiling the jam for longer time and this will have a negative effect on the flavors in your jam. 

Put the berries, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently until all the sugar has dissolved.

Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring only to prevent sticking or burning.

After the mixture has thickened a bit, add the remaining berries. This will give the jam more texture and whole berries in the jam.

Boil the jam to your preferred consistency, skim the stiff foam off the top, while the jam cooks. Test the thickness by putting jam on a very cold spoon, and if the jam is not running or running very slowly, the jam has the right thickness.

Scald the jars and lids with boiling water. Be careful not to touch the inside. Use tongs to handle jars and lids. Fill jars while still hot. 

Pour the hot jam into hot, scalded jars and seal with scalded lids. See National Center for Home Food Preservation for additional information on safe food preservation.

Enjoy!

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Drinks, PreserveTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

You can buy strawberry syrup in a lot of stores, but you really don't know what's in it. So why not make it yourself? It is super easy to make, and not labour intensive at all. Right now   strawberries are in season, which means you’ll find fairly cheap berries at the market. I find the best, freshest and cheapest strawberries at the farmers market, but some places you can go pick your own at strawberry fields. Beside the taste, the best thing about homemade syrup is you knowing what goes into your syrup, in this case just three ingredients, all natural, nothing artificial.  I keep my syrup in the refrigerator, and it will keep for weeks. Well, in my house it will be gone long before it would have expired.

This strawberry syrup is great for adding to a cocktails, mocktails, on waffles or ice cream. You can use it for almost everything that calls for a little sweet strawberry.

In Denmark you can buy so many different syrups in almost every store. Growing up we had my moms homemade syrups. We would get a tall glass of water with a sprinkle of syrup in, instead of getting soda or juices. I don't know if it was intended, but the syrups were a good way to control the amount of sugar we got during the day.  

makes about 1 liter

Ingredients:

  • 1000 g strawberries
  • 500 ml water
  • 500 g sugar

Directions:

Rinse the berries clean and remove the stems. Slice large strawberries into smaller pieces. Place the strawberry, sugar and water in a  saucepan.Slowly bring it to a boil. Reduce to a  simmer and let the strawberries cook for about 20 minutes. Skim the stiff foam off the top, while the strawberries are simmering.

Now the strawberries will have lost their vibrant color and the syrup has a deep pink/red color.  Remove from heat, and strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.

Scald the bottle with boiling water. While the syrup and bottle are still hot, pour syrup into the it, seal and refrigerate.for up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy!