Inspired by a recipe’s notes in Well Preserved: Third Edition: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook, for Pickled Cherries (on page 139), I set out to make Pickled Red Grapes last week.
The author’s recipe mentioned using grapes instead of cherries, that sounded intriguing. Then I got a shock. Apparently I had slacked yet again in reading labels. Every red wine vinegar (which is called for) I could find had preservatives added. And not one, but two. I do realize that one is simply there due to the wine making process and that there may be organic versions to be had. But I didn’t feel like driving an hour each way to see if that was so. So instead? I simply used apple cider vinegar which doesn’t have preservatives added! And hey, it was cheaper as well. Bonus! And hey, I like the smell and taste of ACV 🙂
(And what ones were they? Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Metabisulfite.)
Pickled Red Grapes with Rosemary
- 3 pounds seedless red grapes (weigh after destemming/cleaning)
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 4 tsp pickling salt (or kosher)
- 4 tsp organic granulated sugar
- 8 3″ sprigs fresh Rosemary
Jars & Lids –
Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.
Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add the lids and rings, let sit until you are ready to use. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)
Before starting, soak and rinse the grapes and rosemary in produce wash. Grapes tend to be quite dirty/waxy. Rinse well and set aside to air dry.
Bring a large canning pot of water to a near boil.
Combine vinegar and water in a saucepan, bring to boil over high heat. Pull the jars out of the hot water, add 1 teaspoon salt and sugar to each jar, 2 sprigs rosemary and pack grapes in to 1″ below the top. Sterilize a ladle in your canning pot, fill the jars with the hot vinegar to ½” below the top. Release any air bubbles (mine didn’t have the issue, I poured my vinegar in slowly). Take a new paper towel, dip in hot water and wipe the rims. Put a lid on, finger tighten a band around.
Add the jars to a canning basket, lower in the canning pot. Bring water up to a rolling boil, process for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat, carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter, set on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave undistributed till cold (overnight). Check within a couple of hours that the lids have all popped, if any have not, store in refrigerator, use within a month.
Pickling takes time – don’t open your pickles right away. Let them sit in a cool and dark corner of your pantry and do their magic for at least a couple of weeks.
Makes about 4 pint jars (I had leftover grapes but used all the vinegar). Pickles are usually good for a year+ when sealed and stored properly, once opened store in refrigerator for up to a month.