Anna Olson's pickled hot and sweet peppers

These pickled pepper make great holiday gifts.

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Now that we're in mid-November, holiday season preparations and the mad scramble for gifts begins. 

For chef, TV personality and cookbook author Anna Olson, the holiday season is when she bakes the first pumpkin pie of the year and ramps up the cooking of delicious foods. This year, she has a new cookbook of her favourite holiday recipes to help make the festive season easier for you: Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson.

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In it, you'll find a range of menus for various holiday events, from cozy nights to traditional Christmas dinner, plus dozens of recipes, including this one for pickled sweet and hot peppers. Olson recommends mixing up the colours and varieties of the peppers, and the ratio of hot to sweet peppers is up to you. These canned pickled peppers will keep for over a year in a cool, dark place. Once you open the jar, they will keep, refrigerated, for up to 6 months.

6 cups mixed whole chili peppers, sweet and/or hot
8 cups distilled water
1/2 cup pickling salt
8 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cloves garlic, peeled

Have ready three 4-cup (1 L) canning jars or other glass jars with sealable lids. Wash the whole chili peppers and drain well. If adding a few sweet peppers to the mix, cut them into large pieces that fit into your jars and discard their seeds.

Place all of the peppers in a large bowl. Bring 7 cups (1.75 L) of the water and the salt to a boil and pour over the peppers. Let sit on the counter for 4 hours, then drain and rinse (this step will help to keep the peppers crisp).

Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Place the vinegar, sugar and garlic cloves in a second stockpot and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.

Use rubber tongs (or jar tongs) to immerse the glass jars in the boiling water for a few seconds and then drain on a tea towel. Pack the peppers into the jars and ladle the hot vinegar overtop, adding enough to reach to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) from the top of each jar. Add 1 garlic clove to each jar.

Place rubber-ringed lids in a heatproof bowl, cover with a little cool water and then pour a ladleful of boiling water over (the rubber needs to be softened but not boiled). Set the lids on each jar and secure in place with the second, threaded ring, twisting only until “finger tight” (do not overtighten).

Use the rubber tongs to carefully drop the jars into the boiling water, ensuring the jars are submerged. Boil for 10 minutes, transfer to the towel to drain and then set aside to cool completely. Label each jar with the name of the pickles and the date. If gifting, a simple ribbon securing a slotted spoon to the jar adds the necessary festive touch.

12 cups
Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cook Time:
20 minutes