Yield: 4 pint jars
3 pounds carrots, trimmed to one inch shorter than the pint jar and scrubbed if whole small carrots or if large carrots, peeled and cut into uniform sticks (=4 pounds purchased)
For the brine
5 ½ cups white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pure kosher salt
3 tablespoons bourbon smoked sugar (can substitute with regular sugar)
For each jar
(so multiply below times 4 for what to have on hand):
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, halved
2 sprigs thyme
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Sterilize your jars and place the 4 pint jars into the processing pot and bring to a boil. This way they will be ready in the hot canning pot. Have clean rings and lids ready to go into a small pot of water.
- After starting that process, prepare the brine by bringing the vinegar to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve.
- When the brine process has started, pack the prepared carrots into the clean hot canning jars, which have been removed from the processing pot. Add the items indicated above for each jar as you pack the carrots. Do not pack too tightly as you want to leave room for the brine.
- Pour the brine over the carrots, covering them by ½ inch with liquid. Leave ½ inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar. If you have one, release the trapped air with a bubble remover and use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the top of the jar. Put the lids on the jars and then screw on the rings.
- Place the jars into the boiling water of the canning pot. The water should cover the jars by at least one inch. Bring the water to a boil again and process for 15 minutes at a steady, simmering boil.
- Then remove the jars from the pot and place on folded towels (preferably on on a tray, so that you can move them if you wish). Do not disturb for 24hours, then check to see if the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of the lid. It should not move, which indicates a proper seal. If it does push down and pops back up, it did not seal properly and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Use a method to label and date your jars – either a sticker or use a permanent market to write it on the lid. Use within one year.
- Uses: in addition to being a tasty, low calorie snack, these are an excellent accompaniment to sandwiches, in particular, grilled cheese. For spicy pickled carrots: add ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to each jar to get a spicy flavor kick
- Note: The pickled carrots will stay shelf stable for a year. Once opened, refrigerate. Remember the pickling liquid is good for other uses, such as in mixed drinks or added to soups, so it would be a shame to throw it away once the pickled carrots are eaten.