I’ve been experimenting a variety of pickles, including turnip and carrot. When asparagus went on sale at Easter for $1.49 a pound, it occurred to me that asparagus pickles could be interesting too, especially because my littlest one loves pickles, and her favorite vegetable is asparagus.
With this recipe, I decided to experiment with the low-temperature pasterazation method of canning pickles. You process the jars for twice as long, at a steady temperature of anywhere between 180-185. I used my candy thermometer to gauge the temperature. Normally, when you pull jars from the canner, most of the lids pop down right away, but these jars can take hours to pop down, so don’t be alarmed. To be shelf stable, they must of course seal, but give jars time with this method. Can’t wait to try low temperature water bath canning on cucumbers this summer for extra crunchy pickles.
I used pencil thin asparagus when I made these, which made them more pungent than usual. My family gobbled two pint jars on sandwiches in one week! I’m going to try the thicker asparagus for pickles soon, which would make for a better side accompaniment to a sandwich. Even though pencil thin, the asparagus was perfect texture. I forgot to add pickle crisp this time, but I’m adding it to the recipe. If you try these, let me know what you think!
5 pounds of fresh asparagus
5 cups of apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp. canning salt
2 TBSP sugar
2 1/2 TBSP pickling spice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSP fresh, chopped garlic
Start warming water till it reaches between 180-185. Take woody ends of asparagus, cut to fit your jars, and wash.
Bring all ingredients, except asparagus, to a simmer until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Fill jars with prepared asparagus, and pour brine in jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Place lids and rings on jars. Once water has reached between 180-185, place jars in water, making sure there is an inch of water over each jar. Maintain heat for 30 minutes, and then pull jars out of the water. Please keep an eye on the temperature – – it must maintain 180 at least to keep the food safe.
It’s true this method is more of a pain because you must babysit the thermometer, but your reward is a crisper result. Happy canning!