The key to crunchy pickles is to use small pieces, like 1/2 inch or smaller. If you try to pickle them larger the middle of them will be soft and icky, not crunchy. If you want to use fresh turmeric root, look in Whole Foods or at Middle Eastern markets. I've made it with powdered turmeric too, and it's just as good.
2to 3 pounds sunchokes(choose small ones if possible)
Juice of 2 to3 lemons
1/4cupkosher or pickling salt
2tablespoonsturmeric,or 1 large fresh turmeric root, sliced
1cupwhite wine vinegar
1to 2 cups sugar(depending on how sweet you want them)
1tablespoonchile flakes or 1 dried chile per quart
1bay leaf per quart
Cut jerusalem artichokes into 1/2 inch pieces and put any cut pieces into a bowl of water with the lemon juice in it -- they will discolor otherwise. When you have them all cut, mix the 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon of the turmeric (or the sliced fresh turmeric root) and the 1/4 cup salt. This is your brine. Brine the sunchokes overnight, about 8 to 12 hours.
To make the pickling liquid, mix the vinegar, sugar, 1 cup water, the rest of the turmeric (if you are not using fresh turmeric root), mustard seed, dry mustard, chiles, cloves and bay leaves (basically everything else) and bring to a boil. Stir well and let it cool to room temperature.
Get your hot water bath ready if you plan to can these. Skip this if you plan on keeping the pickles in the fridge.
Fish out a chile, clove and bay leaf from the pickling liquid and put one in each jar.
Rinse the sunchokes well, then pack into jars. Cover with the cooled vinegar mixture. Make sure to leave at least 1/4 inch of headspace if you are canning. Process in a hot water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Wait at least a week before eating.