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In a 6- to 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel or nonstick heavy pot, combine water, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar and salt dissolve. Add beans; return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Return reserved liquid to the pot. Return to a simmer; cover.
Pack hot beans lengthwise into four hot, sterilized pint jars, adding 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, and 2 strips lemon zest to each jar.
Pour boiling liquid over beans in jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles from jar.
Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.