My grandmother, Agnes May (Croft) Blacklock (1916-1991) taught me to pickle beets. This is her recipe. It's very easy and you can pickle as many or as few as you want.
Thank you Gramma!
For 1 Batch(es)
Put raw beets in a bowl of cold water, clean each with a brush and place them in a pot. Add water to the pot so the beets are almost covered (choose a pot that has at least a 2" space from the beets to the top of the pot. This will help prevent water spatter on your stovetop).
Bring beets to a boil on medium-high heat. Boil for at least 45 minutes, or until beets are fairly tender. Remove from heat and pour beets into a strainer.
Packing jars: Using rubber gloves, cut leaf and root ends, pop beet out of skin and fill a (STERILIZED) jar as each beet is skinned. Cut large beets in half. Press beets into jars, and fill to within a ¼" of the top of jar.
Fluid: to determine how much vinegar is required, fill each beet-filled jar with vinegar. Then dump the vinegar back into a measuring cup to determine how much vinegar is used. Transfer vinegar to a pot, and add sugar - ¼ cup sugar for every cup of vinegar. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Tast vinegar, and add more sugar if you find the vinegar is too tart.
Slid a bay leaf down the inside of each beet-filled jar. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars, leaving a ¼" head space. Cover with sterilized lids. Let stand for 24 hours. The jars will pop when they seal. If the jar does not seal, refrigerate the jar and use within 30 days.
Suggestion: cook beets of the same size together.
Wash and sterilized jars before using them.
Vinegar/sugar formula is 4:1
- 1 cup vinegar to ¼ cup sugar
After they are cooked, BEETS pop easily out of their skin.