Basic Pickled Beets
Source of Recipe
From "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich
"For some families I know, pickled beets are a must at every special dinner. This is a typical recipe, except that I use brown sugar for extra flavor, and cider vinegar instead of harsher-tasting distilled vinegar. Pickle very small beets whole, and slice larger ones."
List of Ingredients
◦ 7 pounds beets, well scrubbed
◦ Two 4-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
◦ 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
◦ 1 teaspoon whole cloves
◦ 1 cup granulated sugar
◦ 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
◦ 2 teaspoons pickling salt
◦ 1 quart cider vinegar (5 percent)
◦ 2 cups water
Put the beets into a large pot and pour enough boiling water over them to cover them. Return the water to a boil and boil the beets for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size, until they are just tender enough to pierce through to the middle.
Drain the beets and cover them with cold water. When they are cool, trim them and slip off their skins. If they are large, halve or quarter them - or, if you like, slice all the beets into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
Tie the spices in a spice bag or scrap of cheesecloth. Put this into a nonreactive pot with both sugars, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring the contents to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer the liquid, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
While the liquid simmers, pack the beets into pint or quart mason jars. Pour the hot liquid over the beets, leaving ½ inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps. Process the jars for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place for at least 3 weeks before eating the beets. After opening a jar, store it in the refrigerator.
Makes about 8 pints