Recipe by Mille®
This pickle is made the traditional way, with a short brining to keep the onions crisp, and with cool rather than hot vinegar. If you'd like to can the onions, though, use two one-pint or four half-pint Mason jars instead of a quart jar, and pour the spiced vinegar over the onions while the vinegar is hot. Seal the jars immediately with hot two-piece caps, and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Sharp-tasting, brown malt vinegar is available at most supermarkets. If you can't find it, or if you'd like a milder pickle, use white wine vinegar.
- 1⁄2 cup pickling salt
- 2 quarts water
- 1 1⁄2 lbs very small onion or 1 1⁄2 lbs pearl onions or 1 1⁄2 lbs shallots
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cups malt vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1⁄4 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
Directions See How It's Made
- In a bowl, dissolve ¼ cup salt in 1 quart water; add the onions and weight them gently with a plate that fits inside the bowl.
- Let them stand 8 to 12 hours.
- Drain the onions, and peel them; return them to the bowl.
- Make a brine with the remaining salt and water, pour it over the onions, and weight them gently again.
- Let them stand 2 days.
- In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil; let the liquid cool.
- Drain and rinse the onions, and drain them well again.
- In a 1-quart jar, layer the onions, peppercorns, allspice, pepper flakes, and bay leaf.
- Cover them with the cooled, sweetened vinegar.
- Cover the jar with a nonreactive cap, preferably all plastic.
- Refrigerate the jar for at least 1 month before eating the onions.
- They will keep for at least 6 months.