Bess Dewing’s Sweet/Hot Pickle Relish

August 18, 2014

Bess Dewing’s Sweet/Hot Pickle Relish

Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA
From Preserving Today, by Jeanne Lesem, copyright 1992; permission to reprint granted by Alfred A. Knopf.

¾ lb bell peppers, preferably half red and half green
2 hot chile peppers, each about 5 to 6 inches long
¾ lb onions
2 ½ lbs unwaxed cucumbers
3 tablespoons kosher salt or 2 tablespoons uniodized table salt or pickling salt
3 cups cider vinegar
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seed
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon each of whole cloves and broken stick cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice
¾ teaspoon cracked nutmeg (wrap in a clean dishtowel and whack with a hammer)

Stem and seed the bell peppers and the chiles, and peel the onions.  Pulse/chop the peppers, chiles, onions and cucumbers to a coarse texture in a food processor.  You should have about 8 cups.

Transfer the vegetables to a 3 quart or larger bowl, stir in the salt, and weight with a plate to keep vegetables from floating as the brine forms.  Let stand 12 hours or overnight.

Then drain and rinse the vegetables, and drain well again.  Transfer them to a 4 quart saucepan; add the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and turmeric.  Place the cloves, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in a tea ball or tie with cheesecloth into a small bag.  Add the spice bag to the pan simmer, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Discard the spice bag, and ladle relish, boiling hot, into hot, sterilized jars.  Seal, cool. Label and store at least one month before serving.

One Response to “Bess Dewing’s Sweet/Hot Pickle Relish”

  1. Lorraine Glazar Says:

    Dear CSA friends,
    This recipe is over 20 years old, and understanding of food safety has advanced since it was written. If you would like to make the entire recipe, I recommend processing in a boiling water bath for ten minutes for 8 oz containers, 20 minutes for 16 oz containers. If you don’t want to bother with canning, this recipe may be halved rather easily, and the resulting containers refrigerated until you want to use them.

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