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Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

Posted by moogies z8, D/FW Texas (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 15, 09 at 14:53

I have a new, untried recipe for Rosy Pickles that calls for lime and alum. I've been to every Walmart in this area, and can't find it - and would like to make these before I leave for my trip next week. I have Pickle Crisp but am unsure about how to substitute it in this recipe:

ROSY PICKLES
This is a pickle recipe to use up those overgrown, bitter cucumbers.

2 gal. cucumbers, peeled and cut in long strips with seeds removed. (Overgrown cucumbers work best. Watermelon rind works also.)
2 cups powdered lime
4 cups vinegar, 5% acidity
1 tbsp.alum
1 oz. red food color
3 (3-oz. pkgs) red hot cinnamon candies
5 lbs. sugar (SPLENDA or Sugar/Splenda mixture)
12 cinnamon sticks

1st day: Soak cucumbers 24 hours in lime and 2 gallons water.

2nd day: Drain and wash several times. Soak 3 hours in tap water. Drain again. Simmer 3 hours in a brine of 1c. vinegar, alum, red food coloring, and enough water to cover. Drain and throw away the brine. Dissolve red hot cinnamon candies in 3c. cold water. Bring to boil a brine of sugar, 3 c. vinegar, cinnamon, and the dissolved red hot candies. Pour this brine over the cucumbers, and let stand for 24 hours.

3rd day: Drain and reserve liquid. Reheat and pour over the cucumbers again.

4th day: Repeat as for 3rd day.

5th day: Heat cucumbers in brine. Pack into hot jars, and seal while hot.

These pickles are so good that my friend always gave my DH and I our own jars, as DH complained that I would not share mine with him. LOL

Could anyone here help me with this?
Thank you!
Kathi


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

Kathi - I had a recipe much like this that I used last year. Many older recipes call for lime and/or alum. And there have been a few posts on here regarding possible safety issues with using them. All that aside, what I did was: I skipped day one all together. And then just omitted the alum. Before I jarred the end product, I put the suggested amount of Pickle Crisp in the bottom of each jar. They came out like I had hoped.

From my understanding, the lime helps act as a firming agent. Mine were fine with the Pickle Crisp added at the end. The Pickle Crisp box does give directions for using as a presoak if you wanted to go that route. And the alum adds a 'pucker' factor. I will admit leaving it out will not give the exact same taste, but close enough.

Hope this helps. I'm sure the experts will chime in.

~Tracy


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

Alum will do nothing to keep pickles crisp unless they are fermented. Leave it out.
I would use the Pickle Crisp in each jar, as mentioned.
Lime is caustic and awful to work with. We don't recommend using it any longer, either.


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

  • Posted by moogies z8, D/FW Texas (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 15, 09 at 20:42

Thank you so much -- You just saved me a lot of trouble!! I'll make the changes ya'll recommended and let you know how they turn out.

Kathi


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

I have lots of pickling lime here, but have not used any for many years. Today, Ball Pickle Crisp is recommended to help keep crispness and firmness. Unfortunately Ball has stopped mam=king that product. At Bulk Foods, they offer a slight courser granule size for the CC and it can he used in pickling. Alum today still comes in some repackaged mixes like Mrs Wages. Its use is questionable, but it does offer a bit of 'pucker' to things like true vinegar based sour pickles.

I have posted another link to the same product here. And in the other threads I posted in, I have provided the proper portion measured for each quart jar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bulk Foods CC


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

  • Posted by moogies z8, D/FW Texas (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 17, 09 at 13:43

Ken - thanks for the link; I just purchased 1.6# bag for future use. And thanks to all of you for the info on lime and alum - I've saved this in my canning recipe folder for future reference.

For those of you who may need it -here's Ken's proportions for the calcium chloride:

"The Ball Pickle Crisp photo is located in another post about this product. According to the Ball package, they use 1.5 teaspoons per quart and 3/4 teaspoon per pint. Because of the larger granule size of the Bulk Foods CC, I recommend 2 teaspoons per quart and 1 teaspoon per pint jar of pickles. I add it just prior to filling each jar with the brine. But it can also be added at the top of the packed cukes just before they get the boiling brine added. In that step, you do hear a fizzing noise when the acid comes in contact with the alkali CC. In that same thread of the Ball PC photo, it also can be used in place of a lime presoak."

Kathi


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

Be sure to put the CC in a very tightly sealed jar. I use a clean canning jar with new lid and ring, it helps to prevent the CC from absorbing moisture from the air. You never want it to be exposed to air to long as it can quickly liquify. The original PC was packed in small foil bags and you used one bag for each 4-5 quarts. The photo of the back of the Ball PC is on the link below. I simply did a search and it was the first 'hit'. Scroll down in that thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pickle Crisp photo


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

  • Posted by moogies z8, D/FW Texas (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 17, 09 at 18:34

I plan on using my FoodSaver with the jar lid sealer for canning dry ingredients for the CC. I had no idea it would liquify!

Thanks for the link with all the great info - I added it to my other notes. And thank you for all the help you offer!!

Kathi


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RE: About that recipe...

  • Posted by moogies z8, D/FW Texas (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 17, 09 at 18:46

So the changes I made to the recipe are as follows. (Does this sound about right?)

1st day: Simmer 3 hours in a brine of 1 cup vinegar, red food coloring, and enough water to cover. Drain and throw away the brine.
Dissolve red hot cinnamon candies in 3 cups cold water.
Bring to boil a brine of sugar, 3 cups vinegar, cinnamon, and the dissolved red hot candies. Pour this brine over the cucumbers, and let stand for 24 hours.

2nd day: Drain and reserve liquid. Reheat and pour over the cucumbers again.

3rd day: Repeat as for 3rd day.

4th day: Heat cucumbers in brine.
Place Pickle Crisp or Calcium Chloride (1 tsp/pint) in each hot, clean jar
Pack into hot jars, and seal while hot.

There's nothing on here about a BWB - wouldn't I need to do that? If so, would anyone know for how long?

Thank you!
Kathi


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

I'll go out on a limb and say about 10 minutes in a BWB. Others may say more time, but you don't want the cukes to get cooked and turn to mush, as they have already see a lot of heat. With no added water and all vinegar, it should be safe enough.


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RE: Substitute Pickle Crisp for lime and alum?

Lowes has a small canning section just during the late summer and into fall. They have the ball pickle crisp.


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