Question for Dinkans

dian57(M-H Valley NY-5)August 1, 2009

Your recipe for Lime Pickles sounds delicious. Can you tell me what hydrated lime is and where I might locate it?

Thanks, Dianne

LIME PICKLES

1 cup lime (hydrated)

1 gal. water

7 lbs cucumbers, chunked or sliced 1/4 inch thick (don't peel)

Syrup: 2 quarts vinegar

11 cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon pickling spice

Slice cucumbers and put in a large non metal container (I use a 5 gallon plastic bucket). Stir lime into water, mix well. Pour lime mixture over cucumbers. Put a plate on the top of the cucumbers (to hold them under liquid). and let them soak 24 hours. Remove cucumbers and wash lime off under running water. Let washed cucumber slices soak in cold water 5 hours.

In large pot bring syrup ingredients to a boil. Drain cucumber slices and add them to hot syrup. Let cucumbers soak in syrup mixture over night. Simmer all ingredients about 40 minutes (or longer) until slices become transparent and sort of float to the top. One at a time place slices in prepared canning jar, pack tightly. Pour hot syrup mixture over slices to cover cucumbers. Seal jars in a hot water bath.

These pickles are a lot of work; but they are delicious! They are especially good used in potato, ham, turkey and chicken salads. My dad (and husband) love to eat them, but have to leave the house when they're cooking in the hot syrup.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Pickling lime (hydrated lime) is sometimes sold anywhere that carries canning supplies. Walmart has it as do grocery stores in the section where the other canning supplies are sold. But it is getting harder to find except online because of the problems associated with using it.

Please be advised that it is usually only called for in very old recipes as it is quite caustic, difficult to work with (avoid any breathing or skin contact), and its use isn't generally recommended any longer. It is a firming/crisping agent and for the most part it has been replaced by calcium chloride.

From NCHFP: Food-grade lime may be used as a lime-water solution for soaking fresh cucumbers 12 to 24 hours before pickling them. Excess lime absorbed by the cucumbers must be removed to make safe pickles. To remove excess lime, drain the lime-water solution, rinse, and then resoak the cucumbers in fresh water for 1 hour. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:00AM
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gardener1908

If you use the calcium chloride is the amount the same as the lime? 1 cup and follow directions above, or are there changes in the recipe above if you switch?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 10:08AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No calcium chloride is usually used differently. It is just added to the jars (1 1/2 tsp per qt., 3/4 tsp to pints). Some add a bit more but I have always found that amount to be sufficient.

You can use it as a pre-soak if you wish but it isn't necessary to do so. If you do it's 1/4 c calcium chloride to 16 cups water.

Linda Lou posted sometime back on it and said they are now recommending adding it directly to the brine before pouring it over the jarred cukes because they had some complaints that it wasn't dissolving in the jars. So I tried doing that and IME it clumps badly - works but just doesn't look right to me. Since I have never had any problem with it dissolving in the jars, I went back to that method. But either way works.

If you want to learn more about calcium chloride and its many uses as well as sources for it just search 'calcium chloride or pickle crisp' here.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:06AM
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