I assume you looked at the title and said “Wait, what?!” The answer is Yes You Can!
I’ve been a bit silent with my blog posts the last month because I’ve been trying to keep up with my garden. Canning, cutting, freezing, canning some more. And I don’t even have a huge garden!
I’ve canned about 5 batches of pickles and did not want to repeat the flavor of a batch. By chance, I had tried some pickles my aunt made when I got another load of cucumbers. And loved them! My aunt shared the recipe and I saw black tea as an ingredient! My level of excitement may have been uncalled for. But I have just finished making my first ever sweet pickles with black tea.
To start, you should know I used Ball’s Mixed Pickling Spice, which has mustard seed, black peppercorns, dill seed, cardamom, cassia, ginger, coriander, allspice, chili pepper, cloves and bay leaves.
4 quart jars with rings and lids
4 pounds cucumbers
4 cups sugar
3 3/4 cups white or apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons canning salt
4 cinnamon sticks about 3-4 inches long (one for each jar)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon pickling spice per jar
1/2 teaspoon black tea per jar (Regular black tea is fine, but English Breakfast and Constant Comment are good too)
The first step is to chop up all these fine cucumbers. You can either use gherkin cucumbers and keep it whole (just cut off the end that flowered) or cut into spears or slices. Then boil water and cover your cucumbers with the boiling water. Let sit for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, drain the water. In a saucepan bring the vinegar, sugar, and canning salt to a boil. In the meantime, bathe your jars in hot water (we don’t want any explosions!) and prep your spices.
Each jar should have 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2-1 teaspoon pickling spice and 1/2 teaspoon black tea.
Next, it’s time to load it up! Fill that jar as much as you can! The jar is supposed to still be hot/ warm, so I did each jar one at a time. As soon as the cucumbers fill the jar, pour the boiling vinegar, sugar, and salt mix into the jar.
Make sure you leave about 1/4 inch space at the top and get the air bubbles out. Boil the lid in water while you’re cleaning off the rim of the jar (paper towel with water is good enough). Then dry the rim with a dry paper towel. This helps the lid seal better to the jar.
Pull the lid out of the boiling water, dry it, put it on top the jar and tighten the ring as much as possible.
Wahla! Repeat until you’re out of cucumbers. If you’re feeling brave, place the jars in a 15 minute hot water bath. Afterward, let them sit on a towel on your counter. Let the jars sit out over night. In the morning check that the lid is sealed and refrigerate any jars that did not fully seal.
After a couple of weeks you should have a tasty treat to enjoy! Have fun! I know I did on this new Tea-venture.