Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and butter pickles are kind of like sunshine in a jar. So sweet and so tangy at the same time. If you've never made them before, be warned: It takes a while. But it's mostly hands-off time. Unlike basic dill pickles, bread and butter pickles require several steps but are still pretty easy to make.

Bread and Butter Pickles
Makes about 4 pints

2 1/2 pounds pickling cucumbers
1 pound white onions, thinly sliced (about one large onion)
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries (plus a pinch of ground allspice)
6 whole cloves (plus a pinch of ground cloves)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Grape leaves (optional)

1. Clean the cucumbers thoroughly and remove all dirt, debris and leaves. Remove the ends (cut off a 1/8-inch slice from each end), then slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place in a large bowl along with onions and salt. Mix together, then cover with ice and allow to sit at room temperature for two hours (don't skip this step! It keeps the cukes crunchy after pickling).

2. Rinse cucumbers and onions in a colander thoroughly to remove salt. Drain.

3. In a large pot, combine the white and apple cider vinegar, sugar, and spices. Whisk to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil. Add cucumbers and onions and stir to cover with vinegar mixture (brine). Bring back to a boil.

4. Using a slotted spoon, place the cucumbers and onions in sterilized pint-size canning jars (if using the grape leaves, which are a natural source of alum and help keep pickles crunchy, add one leaf-per-pint to the bottom of jars before adding cukes). Fill to 1/2-inch from the top of the jar. Pour brine over the top of cukes and onions, leaving the same 1/2-inch headspace.

5. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and add sterilized lids/bands. Process in a hot water-bath canner for 15 minutes (20 minutes for elevations above 6,000 feet). Or, store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!


trishie said...

I've never made pickled anything before but this doesn't sound too hard at all. Might have to give it a go!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Definitely give it a try! Don't hesitate to reach out/email if you need help or have a question. These are delicious and easy to make!