I have always enjoyed both sweet and hot banana pepper Rings on Italian subs. Yet the supermarkets in the Northeast USA never seem to have the sweet variety, so I had to find a recipe for making the sweet ones.
The recipe provided here is from the Internet and I have made significant procedural changes to it to take advantage of calcium chloride as a crisping agent, sodium benzoate as a preservative, and pasteurizing instead of canning the product, followed by vacuum sealing and either refrigeration or food pantry storage.
I have to test this recipe to decide what ingredient changes might be necessary. I will modify the recipe as appropriate and get back to you with the final recipe.
Ingredients: (makes 2, 8 ounce jars)
1⁄2 lb of banana peppers seeded and sliced crossways into rings
1 small sweet onion sliced thinly, then cut the slices in half
1 1/2 cups of white distilled vinegar
2⁄3 cup of sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon of celery seed
2 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. of kosher or canning salt
0.3 grams of food grade calcium chloride
1/10 of 1 percent sodium benzoate by weight of all the other ingredients
Sterilize 2, 8 ounce canning jars, lid inserts and rings in hot water.
Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and calcium chloride to a boil in a two quart stainless steel saucepan, stirring to assure perfect mixing and dissolving of the sugar and the calcium chloride..
Put the sliced peppers, garlic and onions into the boiling mixture, immediately shutting off the heat and mixing the slices of pepper, garlic and onion with the brine.
Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature and then heat the mixture on a very low setting to maintain a 165 degrees F mixture temperature for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let the contents cool to room temperature, covered.
Weigh the mixture in a one quart stainless steel bowl using a kitchen scale, allowing for the tare weight of the bowl. Calculate the amount of Koldkiss® concentrated sodium benzoate solution to add, following the directions in the Dabbling in Science topic in the Technology section of Food Nirvana. Measure out that amount of product using a very sensitive reloader scale. Add it to the pepper slice mixture and mix well.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two canning jars. If necessary, add a small amount of water to each jar to bring the liquid level up to the glass ring near the top of the jar and mix the water in with the rest of the brine. Seal the lids with the inserts and rings and refrigerate for at least three hours.
Slightly loosen the lid rings and vacuum seal the jars of sweet pickled banana pepper rings.
Screw on the lid rings tightly.
Store the jars in the refrigerator or in food pantry storage.
Enjoy. And always refrigerate the jar contents after opening.