From Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff ($27.50, Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, 2016)
- 4 pounds green tomatoes (unripe)
- 3/4 cup pickling lime (see note)
- 6 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp pure kosher salt
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 1/2 cup minced celery (about 2 ribs)
- 2 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 small sweet onion, very thinly sliced into rounds (optional)
Preparing the Tomatoes
- Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch rounds, cutting out the tough core in the top slices.
- In a large bowl, combine 3 quarts cold water with the pickling lime and add the tomatoes. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain in a colander, rinse well, and cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour, then drain. Repeat the soaking and draining two more times to remove all of the lime; do not skip this step, as it’s necessary to remove all of the lime so that the pickles will be acidic enough for preservation.
- Prepare for water-bath canning: Wash the jars and keep them hot in the canning pot, and put the flat lids in a heatproof bowl.
- In a wide, 6- to 8-quart preserving pan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seeds, celery, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then add the drained tomatoes. Return to a boil and cook, gently pressing down on the tomatoes to keep them mostly submerged, for 15 minutes. The tomatoes will become somewhat translucent.
- Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot, and place them upright on a folded towel.
- Drain the water off the jar lids.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the hot tomatoes to the jars. (If you’d like, insert a round of onion or two between some of the tomato slices.) Ladle in the hot syrup, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top. Use a chopstick to remove air bubbles around the inside of each jar.
- Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it’s just fingertight.
- Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes to process.
- Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store.
Use wide-mouth jars, and tomatoes no larger than 3 inches in diameter, so you can neatly stack the slices in the jars. If your tomatoes are bigger, slice them, then cut into quarters.