Saskia's go-to pickling syrups
The following syrups are great for pickling anything in. There are several methods of doing this –
things like onions and cucumbers are sliced and salted for 30 minutes before the hot pickling liquid is poured over them.
If you want a crunch to your pickled cucumber you put it into cold syrup.
For grapes, figs, quinces, green tomatoes – they are simmered for a minute or two in the syrup before coming out to cool. Quinces and crab apples take longer – but they create the most wonderful colours. You pickle items like these in batches –so you don't overload your pan, the more batches you do the more intense your liquid gets as more colour is extracted.
You can also reduce your pickling liquid down to intensify the sweetness and the viscosity – to use to finish a dish.
Pickling syrups are not only for preserving the fruit or vegetable you are doing, they can also be used in salad dressings, to drizzle over rich items such as game, terrines, and rilletes etc.
The syrups can be used to finish sauces or added into pie mixes and even used for desserts. The process of preserving is only the first part of the equation –the endless things you can do with your preserves and the syrup that results is the real treat.
Picking Liquid # 1
This is a classic sweet and sour pickle – and can be used for anything.
1 litre Seppelt Spiced Vinegar
1 kg white sugar
1 x cinnamon stick
Black Pepper corns
Pickling Liquid # 2
This syrup is great for preserving apples, pears, cherries, apricots, crab apples and plums.
1 litre Verjuice
750gm Castor sugar or Dark Brown Sugar depending on preference
1 x Cinnamon
4 x cloves
Pickling Liquid # 3
This is great for pickled onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, ginger, kohlrabi, radishes, Daikon etc.
2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar (I use brown rice vinegar) **you could add ½ cup of Mirin as well for a deeper flavour
2 cups verjuice
1 cup water
3 cups white sugar
1 x star anise