Snake's Kin Studio presents...
Merlyn: Grocery stores usually have lye in the housekeeping and cleaning dept.
Merlyn's Recipe for Olive Curing
Method 1- Rock salt: Place olives in a flat tray and cover with rock salt.
Within a week the olives will begin to appear wrinkled and shriveled. Allow
the salt curing process continue until the olives are about half size and
still have a "rubbery" feel. When cured the olives will still have
a slightly bitter taste and will be quite salty. Do occasional taste tests
during the curing process.
**Method 2- Lye: Lye is
concentrated sodium hydroxide. DO NOT GET IT ON YOUR SKIN! Use rubber
gloves. The lye neutralizes the bitter acids inside the olive and the
time required to do that depends on concentration of the lye solution and
temperature. Lye exposed to air quickly absorbs moisture from the air, gets
sticky and then hard as a rock. When using lye remove the appropriate amount
from the container and quickly replace the cap.
Use the ratio of 1 tbs. to a quart of water. Prepare enough solution to
completely cover the olives to be cured. A gallon of olives will require
about a half gallon of solution. When preparing the solution stir the mixture
until all the lye granules are dissolved. During the curing process stir
the batch at least 4x during the day, more often if possible. If using a
jar just invert and shake to keep the solution well mixed with the olives.
Jars nearly always leak so use your rubber gloves. Before you start cut into
an olive and notice the whiteness of the flesh; as the lye penetrates the
color changes to brown and when the color change reaches the pit the cure
is complete. The cure will take a full day so you don't need to start cutting
into the olives for six hours at least. If the cure is not complete by bedtime
let the lye work overnite.
When the curing process is complete, pour off the lye solution and start
to rinse out the lye. The more often you change the water the faster you
will get rid of the lye, usually takes 3 to 4 days. When the lye is washed
out, add salt to taste, usually 4 tbs per gallon is about right. When you
cure olives you need to experiment a little to get them just right. If the
flesh adheres to the pit you could have left the cure continue a little longer,
if the olives are soft and mushy the cure continued too long. Good luck!
For 1 pint
shows a plate inside the jar with a bowel on top to keep olives submerged
More links to Olive Curing-