Canning: Pickles, Peppers & Apple Butter

Preserving Summer for Winter

Now that the frost is on the pumpkin, we’re working on canning the final yield from this year’s harvest.  We started in September with peaches (Ginger Peach Jam and Peach Preserves) and jars and jars of honey from our hives. Some of us made tomatoes into sauce, and others saw to it that crab apples and concord grapes made their way into jelly or pie. Now that it’s October, we’ve picked the last of the peppers for pickling (can’t ever not think about Peter Piper), made apples into cinnamon-scented apple butter and sliced up squash for a crisp, delicious pickle.

At Ginger and Baker’s market we’re planning on stocking all kinds of jams, jellies, pickles and more; from Ginger’s mom’s classic (and delicious!) ChowChow to Chef Deb’s innovative take on pickling tiny, flavor-packed coriander seeds. Canning is something we all learned growing up, and it’s the best way to keep the luscious flavors and colors of the summer going all winter long. Plus the jars are so dang pretty and pretty dang delicious, too. 

Today, we’re sharing just a few of our favorite recipes for sealing in the best flavor of hot peppers with Pickled Jalapeños, sweet autumn apples with Spiced Apple Butter and butternut squash with Quick Butternut Pickles, Many Ways. 

Pickled Jalapenos

  • 1 pound jalapeño peppers
  • 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. pickling salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Slice peppers (wearing gloves) into rings. Set aside. In a large stock pot, bring remaining ingredients to a boil. Add sliced peppers and bring back to boil. Turn off the heat. 

Can in clean, hot jars. Fill jars with peppers and liquid to 1/4″ from top. Follow canning procedures to process. At Ft. Collins altitude, we process for 20 minutes.

Spiced Apple Butter

  • 25 Macintosh or Cortland apples (6 pounds) peeled, cored and sliced
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup apple or orange juice.

Place apples in a large slow cooker. Mix sugar, spices and juice in a small bowl and pour over apples. Cook on low for 9 hours – it works best to do it overnight. If you like your apple butter extra thick, remove the lid after cooking for 9 hours and cook for another hour. Fill canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at the top, cover and process for 10-15 minutes, depending on your altitude. In Ft. Collins, we process for 15 minutes. This recipe makes about four pints or two quarts. Note: we like our apple butter on the tart side, if you like it sweeter, feel free to increase the sugar to 1/3 or 1/2 cup.

Quick Butternut Pickle, Many Ways

  • 1 cup clear, filtered apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 1/2 lbs.)

Flavor profile options:

  • 10 cloves of garlic + 20 sage leaves
  • 10 cloves of garlic + 5-10 peppers
  • 2 star anise, 2 inches fresh ginger, cut into coins, 2 Fresno peppers, sliced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds, 2 tsp. black peppercorns

Peel squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut in quarters crosswise and scrape out seeds. Cut quarters in half, then into ¼”-wide slices. Cut in half again. Place squash and any combination of profile ingredients in glass jars (1 2-quart jar or 2 1-quart jars) or ceramic pot and set aside. Put vinegar, salt, sugar, and 3 cups water in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until salt and sugar dissolve and pour hot liquid over squash and allow to cool before placing containers in the refrigerator. These pickles are ready to eat after 2 hours but will be better if you can leave them for a day or two. They’ll last two weeks in the refrigerator.


  • Substitute fresh pumpkin, radish, celery sticks, carrots, jicama or watermelon rind for the butternut squash.
  • Eat these quick pickles by themselves, or with a sandwich.
  • Feel free to bread them and fry them, and serve with ranch dressing
  • Dice them and add them to charred Brussels sprouts and bacon
  • Use them as part of a crudité or charcuterie platter


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