Cured Scratched Olives Recipe
Last year, I shared the cured crushed olives recipe I made the year before. It was my first olive experiment, but I had done so much research and reading before that when I started olive making, I felt like an olive master of years. When the result I got was perfect, my self-confidence increased. After getting great feedback from those who tried it after I published the recipe, I decided to sell everything and buy an olive grove from the Aegean region and start an olive business. Joking aside, with my little experience and high confidence, I cured my own olives again last year. When my order for green olives came, I had to change from crushed olives to scratched olives.
Since purple olives are softer than green olives, they may crumble when broken, so soft, variegated olives are more suitable for making scratched olives. As I was making a different types of olives (scratched olives) I wanted to share the recipe. As a matter of fact, I just made one more change, other than scratching instead of breaking them. I did not use it on broken olives, this time I used a teaspoon of thyme buds. If I only had normal thyme in my hand, I wouldn't have used them, but I had that wonderful thyme buds that our friends brought from Turkey, so I used them. It is not necessary to use thyme as it is only a flavoring agent. You can decide whether to use it or not according to your conditions and taste.
I have shared all kinds of tricks about olive making in the recipe for crushed olives, but I am pasting the same article here as I know that if I just give a link, no one will click on the link and will ask again and again about the things I have written for pages and pages before. Please do not follow the recipe until you have read and understood the whole recipe. Do not forget to ask what you have in mind before you start making the recipe.
The first step of olive making is scratching the olives. You have to use a very, very sharp knife to scratch the olives. Otherwise, you will crush the olives instead of scratching them. Before using the knife, wash it well and rinse it with boiling water. Scratch the olives longitudinally in three spots. You have to throw the olives you have scratched into the water with the addition of salt and lemon juice, without wasting any time. Otherwise, there may be blackening at the scratched points. Don't panic if this happens, it's just a visual thing, it won't affect the flavor or consistency.
Extracting the Bitterness of Olives
In order to remove the bitterness of the olives, the water is changed every day for 15-20 days and kept at room temperature. I've seen that 10 days is usually recommended for this period. But even though I changed the water twice a day, I did not see the slightest glimmer of hope on this road in 10 days. On the 15th day, some of them started to taste not bitter. On the 20th day, the bitterness was completely gone. From the 10th day, you can check if the bitterness is gone by tasting them every day.
If you are not going to brine your olives immediately, you can store them for months in the water you add first, without changing the water, thanks to the protection of its own bitterness. When you decide to make brine, it will be enough to change the water every day until the bitterness goes away.
Calculating Brine Salt Ratio for Olive Curing
First of all, let's start the brining with how to adjust the salt amount of the brine. Our formula is as follows;
Amount of salt (kg) = amount of water X percentage of desired salt concentration /100
Fermentation occurs faster at low salt concentration and slower at high salt concentration. Very low salt concentration will not prevent the formation of undesirable organisms. High salt concentration, on the other hand, prevents the formation of lactic acid bacteria and causes the growth of undesirable aerobacteria. Bacteria desired to be formed are lactic acid bacteria and lactic acid bacteria are resistant to salt concentrations up to 10%. Therefore, it is important that the salt concentration should be neither too much nor too low, but as it should be. The salt concentrations required for different olive varieties differ. For example, while the ideal salt concentration for green olives is 8%, a salt concentration of 10% is required for black olives.
Let's calculate how much salt we need to use for 2 litres of water prepared for use for green olives;
Amount of salt = 2 (amount of water) X 8 (percentage of desired salt concentration) /100
For 2 litres of water, you need to use 0.16 kg or 160 g of salt.
Keeping Salt Consistent
We mix salt and water and put the olives aside. Is it enough? Of course not. The salt added to the brine sinks to the bottom of the jar as it waits. For this reason, in order for all the olives in the jar to be equally fermented, the jar should be shaken at regular intervals.
Since the olives put in the brine will absorb some of the salt in the brine within a few days, the salt content of the brine decreases. To compensate for this, 1-2% salt should be added on the second or third day of the brine.
Olive Brine Ph Control
Although brine is very important when making olives, there is another thing that is at least as important as the pH level. Since olive is such a precious and expensive ingredient that it will not accept failure, I bought a pH meter last year and prepared the olive in a controlled manner in order not to take risks in this regard, and I was very comfortable throughout the process.
When you first prepare brine, the pH level will be 7. Measurement should be made frequently in the first days until the pH drops to 6. After the pH drops to 4.5 (which is the vanishing point of gram negative bacilli), the measurement frequency is reduced. If the pH does not decrease to 6 within 2 weeks, citric acid should be added. If the fermentation is successful, the pH will be between 3.8-4 at the end of the fermentation.
Use of Sugar in Olive Brine
Sugar is the main food source for microorganisms that provide fermentation. The acid formed by these microorganisms using sugar prevents the olives from spoiling and ensures their maturation. The required sugar ratio in olive brine is 0.5-0.8%.
Among the ingredients used in olive making, the most well-known preservative is undoubtedly citric acid. But citric acid alone does not provide protection. The vine or mulberry leaves used in the recipe also have protective properties and prevent the olives from softening. While chickpea supports fermentation, it also prevents olives from softening.
Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves and lemon slices are used to flavor the recipe. You may not use it if you wish, but if you do, you will get delicious olives.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 2 kg of purple/pink olives,
- 2 liters of water,
- 180 g of brine salt,
- 2 teaspoons of sugar,
- 1 tablespoon of citric acid,
- 1 handful of chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds,
- 1 teaspoon of thyme buds,
- 3 bay leaves,
- 2 slices of lemon,
- Juice of 1/2 lemon,
- 5-6 mulberry or vine leaves.
- Fill half of a 3-liter jar with water, add a tablespoon of brine salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon and mix,
- Scratch the olives in three spots and throw them into the water without immediately,
- If the water is not enough after putting all the olives in the jar, add enough water to cover the olives,
- Put a bowl or plastic bag in the jar so that the olives are completely submerged in the water,
- Close the jar lid loosely,
- Pour the juice of the olives once or twice a day for 15-20 days and fill again,
- After the color of the olives has completely changed and their bitterness has passed, pour their water again,
- Put chickpeas, mustard seeds, thyme, cumin seeds and bay leaves at the bottom of a clean jar of the same size,
- Fill the olives in the jar,
- Mix 2 liters of water, 160 g of salt, sugar and citric acid in a bowl until they dissolve,
- Fill the brine juice into the olive jar,
- Push the lemon slices to the sides of the jar,
- Cover them with grapevine or mulberry leaves and close the lid,
- After two days, remove the lemon slices,
- Add 20 g of salt and mix,
- Close the lid and leave for another week.