The Xen to One Ratio Build it, buy it, break it, fix it


Pickled Asparagus Experiment

I tried a pickled asparagus experiment. I purchased 3 pounds of asparagus on sale, and decided to pickle the hell out of it. I used a recipe from the blog Food in Jars. It’s a great blog, but unfortunately in this case, the recipe was not a success. I have a theory why, which may be as simple as a transcription error in the recipe, though I may have made a mistake elsewhere in the process.

For my own records, here is the recipe I used:

Pickled Asparagus, adapted from Putting Up by Stephen Palmer Dowdney
  • 4 pounds asparagus, trimmed to fit your pint jars and blanched in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds
  • 3 cups vinegar (half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons Penzeys pickling spice
  • 3 small jalapeno peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled

I blanched the asparagus for 15 seconds before jarring. I added the spices, and poured in the brine mixture. I processed in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. After processing, the asparagus were shriveled, as though the moisture had been sucked out of them. In retrospect, the recipe seemed to have a lot more salt than the other pickling recipes, about 50% more. Perhaps the recipe should have been 1/4 cup of salt or something similar.

I’ll still try them when they have finished pickling, but my hopes for good texture are not high. A future experiment with a modified saline level should prove useful.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I am so sorry that your batch didn’t turn out well. I’ve added a note to that post, asking people not to use it until I can look at my notes and the recipe source to determine the problem (although I think you’re probably right – too much salt). I’m currently on my honeymoon, but I’ll be back in Philly next Wednesday evening and will check it out then.

    Could I send you a jar of jam as a small apology for the recipe disappointment?

  2. I was searching the internet to find out why my pickled asparagus was shriveled and looked as if the moisture had been sucked out when I came across the above comment. My recipe called for 12 cups of water, 4 cups of vinegar, and 2/3 cup of salt. I wondered if my brine was too weak or if I should have blanched them first. Any ideas out there. Thanks Karen

    • I have tried soaking in ice cold salt water, packing asparagus cold and then adding hot brine and have also tried par boiling and dipping in ice cold water before packing in jars. In both cases the asparagus is shriveled. Sure wish I knew how to fix this problem.
      Somebody out there please help!

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.