Monday, April 23, 2012

Peter Piper picked

... a peck of pickled peppers.

That's like eight imperial quarts or something.
Since this was my first pickling project*, I just picked a pint of pickled apples.

Still alliterative, but much more manageable, fridge-space wise.

Quick Pickled Apples
From a recipe on Food52**.

1 c. water
1 c. champagne vinegar
1/2 c. grade B maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pickling spice***
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 good sized Pink Lady apples
2 or 3 star anise pods

Combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, pickling spice and salt in a small/medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.   Spoon out a little of the brine, cool, then taste to see if you like it.  If you want it a little sweeter, add more maple syrup, 1 Tbs. at a time.

While the brine is simmering, wash and core your apples.  Leave the skin on.  If you have an apple corer, use it, and then cut the apples in half from top to bottom.  If you don't, quarter the apples and then remove the cores.  Either way, your next step is to cut the halves or quarters cross-wise into thin slices, about 1/8th of an inch thick.

Transfer to a quart glass measure or a glass bowl, and add the star anise pods.

Pour the brine through a strainer over the apples, cover, and allow to come to room temperature.  If the apples start floating, set a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly onto the apples so they stay submerged.  When they've cooled, transfer the apples and the star anise to a pint jar, then add enough of the brine to cover.  Discard the leftover brine, and transfer the jar to the fridge.  The apples will keep for a week or so.

The apples are still crispy, intriguingly tart and wonderfully tangy.  They're terrific in an arugula salad with Parmesan cheese, or as an accent to a long simmered pork dish. My favorite way to use them?

Grilled sharp cheddar cheese on sourdough with pickled apples!  It is that time of year again...

Click to print this recipe!

* For some reason, I've been intimidated by pickling.  Not anymore!
** Every other week or so, they do a round up of recipes based on a specific ingredient, and people sign up to test them and report back.  The editors choose a favorite from the reports.  This was part of the Maple Community Picks project.  The recipe didn't win, but I sure loved these apples.  My report is at the top of the recipe header.
*** There is such a thing.  It's a the grocery store.  Who knew?  You can also make your own, but then that negates the whole title of the recipe.

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