Grape Leaves in Pickles

ibstitchinAugust 29, 2007

Does it work to keep them crisp and green? I was looking through my Joy of Pickling book and 1-2 grape leaves per jar are recommended to help keep the pickles crisp and green. Even if there is no benefit they would make a pretty addition to the jars but I thought I'd ask first.

I have officially gone pickle crazy. LOL! The neighbor's son planted a ton of cukes and I hate to see stuff go to waste so right now I have a batch of Linda Lou pickles on day 6, a batch I started last night, overripe cukes for cinnamon pickles started last night, and just put some halves for sours in brine to be done tonight. I'll probably try out several recipes just for variety and I think everyone is getting baskets of canned goods for Christmas.

TIA,

Lora

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

A couple of years ago I tried grape leaves (after a difficult search to find some from a local winery without any sprays)...didn't make a darned bit of difference to me.

Pickle Crisp is widely available. Good reviews here. I haven't used it yet.

This recipe got raves on the Cooking Forum and I made it for the first time this year.....I'm only at week 3 so haven't tasted them yet.

Chase's Dills
=============
You can usually count on between 6-8 dills (cukes) per 1 quart jar, depending on size.
Use 3" to 4" cukes that have just been picked.
Place the cukes in ice cold water (I use my bath tub!!) and add a bag or two of
ice to the water. The cukes should stay in the ice water for a minimum of 2
hours but no more than 8. Refresh the ice as required.
I make the brine in great big batches using this ratio:
2 cups white vinegar
6 cups water
1/3 cup coarse pickling salt
For each jar of dills you will need 2 nice size garlic cloves peeled and cut in
half (4 pieces) and two dill heads. Leave the cukes whole.
I sterilize my jars using the sani cycle of the dishwasher (you could
boil the jars instead) When they are really hot, almost at the end of
the cycle I place them in a oven at 150 degrees to keep them good and
hot.
Make the brine and bring the brine to a full and rolling boil.
Place the rings and lids in a large saucepan with water and bring them
almost to the boil. Then turn down but keep them hot.
Place the cukes, garlic and dill in the hot jars. I do garlic, dill,
cukes, garlic, dill. Pour brine over the cukes. Only do 2 jars at a
time, leave the rest in the oven to keep them hot.
Wipe the rim really well, this is critical to sealing, and place lid
and ring on and screw to finger tight. Let sit 6-8 weeks before eating!

I made these last yar and they are really good. Pretty crisp too. I processed mine so they'd be shelf-stable.

Fermented Dill Pickles Refrigerated "Clausen" Type (2006, Really Good!)
1 Gallon Jar
Pickling Cucumbers
12 Fresh Dill Flower heads, or
2 Tbsp Dried dill weed and
2 Tbsp. Dried dill seed
10 to 12 Cloves Garlic
6 to 8 Peppercorns
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Salt
1 1/2 Quarts Water
In 1 gallon jar add pickling cucumbers Rinse but do not wash the cucumbers. Add Dill
flower heads or dried dill weed and seed, garlic, peppercorns, and vinegar. Dissolve
salt in water and add to jar. Fill jar the remaining way with water. Add weight to
keep cucumbers under brine.
Fermentation sequence
1. Clear brine  no cloudiness for 1 to 3 days
2. Cloudy brine with gas formation, 2-3 days
3. Cloudy brine  no gas formation, 5 to 6 days
Pickles ready to eat after 10-11 days.
Refrigerate pickles if you do not want to process them.
To process the pickles
Fill clean, sterilized quart jars with pickles to within 1/2inch of the top. Wipe,
seal, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and place on towel in a
draft free area. Let jars stand for 12 hours. Label and date. Store in a dark, cool
area.

Deanna

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:00PM
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ibstitchin

Thanks Deanna. I do have some Pickle Crisp but was wondering about the grape leaves from an aesthetic standpoint as well as curiosity on it working. I have grape vines and could easily add them. In fact I need to search for grape leaf recipes. A friend and I have some stuffed grape leaves at a winery and they were delish!

Lora

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:12PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Adding grape leaves won't do any harm but it won't make the pickles crisper either, so it's entirely up to you. If you enjoy how the pickles look with grape leaves in the jar, add them.

(I agree that dolmathes are wonderful!)

Carol

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:54PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I tried them, but found no difference in cripsness, or the life of the pickles. Pickle Crisp, to me, seems to be a better choice at keeping pickles crisp for a longer period. It helps to 'buffer' the vinegar based brines, and reduces the breaking down effect that acidic vinegar does to cukes and other pickled vegetables.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 10:58AM
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shammierock(5blue water/MI)

My mother always added grape leaves, and I do too. She said it kept the liquid clear. I used pickle crisp last year, and didn't care for it at all. Didn't notice any extra crispness at all. So I didn't use it this year, but my pickles were pickled within an hour of picking. Shammie

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 2:52PM
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mngardener1(4 - Minnesota)

I too use the grape leaves and it works for me! It keeps them crisp and the brine clear! It baffles people when they open the jars, but hey, if it works, don't fix it! :0)
Happy canning! I am making bread and butter today and have made three other kinds in the past few weeks!
Jodi

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 1:44PM
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