It seems like everybody likes pickled onion and they go with so many things, it makes sense to perfect a recipe that really showcases everything pickled onions have to offer.
Whether onions are quick-pickled, whole or heavily spiced they taste great. Onion and vinegar combine so well it is hard to make a bad tasting pickled onion but to make a truly great one is another story.
I like these pink pickled onions as they maintain a bite and crispness, they work in burgers, sandwiches or as a condiment to most meals. The tricky part about making these pickled onion rings is to maintain that crunch and snap even after processing in a hot water bath but I think it is vital to their success.
Maintain A Crunch In Pickled Onions
The problem with pickling sliced onions or onion rings is the texture tends to soften after processing in a water bath. Refrigerator pickles maintain their crunch but only last weeks, canned versions will last a year or more so how do you maintain the texture.
Salt & Sugar
Using salt and sugar will draw moisture out of the onion slices which helps them maintain a bite and texture. Extra water in the onion will slowly turn the slices mushy so adding just a little sugar and salt to the pickling liquid works wonders. The sugar also balances out the sharp sour and bitterness of the onions.
The method of pickling these onions require the sliced onions to be quickly immersed in the boiling pickling liquid 2 or 3 times. This allows the vinegar to penetrate the onion, takes away the rawness and still maintain some texture. Cooking the onions in this way is a bit of extra work and faff but well worth it.
Red Onions Make Pink Pickled Onions
To make pink pickled onions you don’t have to use any beetroot or colouring to the pickling brine you just need nice, red onions and to blanch them for a few seconds at a time.
If you cook red onions too long they will lose their colour and can become greyish so we want to avoid that. Blanching quickly will result in the red pigment on the onion to infuse the pickling liquid and the onion rings will maintain a bright pink colour even after storing.
Pink Pickled Onion Ring Recipe
This recipe will make 2-pint jars of pickled onions.
A beautiful pink, sweet and spiced pickled onion. Great on anything you can think of.
- 4 large red onions
- 1.2 litres white vinegar
- 500g white sugar
- 1 red chilli halved
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- Peel the onions and remove the ends. Slice into rings that are about 12mm / 1/2 inch thick. Separate the rings.
- Put the vinegar, sugar and all the herbs and spices into a large heavy-based saucepan. Begin heating and stirring to dissolve all the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Prepare a boiling water canner and scald 2-pint jars in the water. Leave the jars immersed until ready to fill
- Take around a third of the onion rings and lower them into the vinegar mixture. Stir and bring to a boil again before immediately removing with a slotted spoon. Do the same for the other two-thirds of the onions.
- Repeat this short blanching process another 2 times for all of the onion rings. Bring them to a boil before removing them after a few seconds. This process will flavour and brine the onions but the crunch and pink colour will remain.
- Set the onions to one side and boil the vinegar to reduce the mixture to around half the volume.
- Whilst the vinegar is reducing, remove the jars from the water bath and divide the onion rings between the jars, a canning funnel can be helpful to do this. Once the pickling liquid is reduced pour over the onions in the jars while still hot leaving a headspace of 1/2 inch.
- Place the lids on the jars and add the rings, tighten until just fingertip tight. Process the pickled onions in the water bath, completely submerged, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the heat and allow the jars to sit in the water bath for 5 minutes before lifting. Allow the jars to cool completely before checking the seals.
- Store the jars in a cool, dark place and they will be shelf-stable for up to a year. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and eat within a few months.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g
How Long Will These Pickled Onions Last?
If you hot water process the jars the pickled red onions will be shelf stable for a year or more. Store them in a cool, dark place and once opened keep them in the refrigerator.
If you don’t hot water process the jars you should keep the pickles in the fridge and use within three months.