11 August, 2008

Bread and Butter Pickles

With fresh garden cucumbers in full swing, now is the time to make bread and butter pickles! These sweet lovelies have long been a favorite of everyone in our family, and Maryanne and I make several batches every summer so we have plenty to give as gifts over the holidays.

I first posted the following recipe on the Fidonet National Cooking Echo back in 1997. Since then, it's been scraped and reposted on a number of recipe archive sites on the internet - sometimes leaving my name in the credits, sometimes not. Whether or not the credit line is in the recipe instructions, though, wherever you see this recipe on the 'net, it originated in our kitchen.

Maryanne's Bread And Butter Pickles
Yield: 1 Batch


4 qt medium cucumbers; sliced
-but unpared
6 md onions; sliced
2 lg green peppers; sliced in
3 cl garlic
1/3 c pickling salt; or kosher
5 c sugar
3 c cider vinegar
1 1/2 ts turmeric
1 1/2 ts celery seed
2 tb mustard seed


Toss together cucumber, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Add salt; cover with cracked ice and mix thoroughly. Allow to stand for at least three hours.

Drain vegetable mixture well and set aside. In a large kettle, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir in the vegetables and bring them to a boil in the brine.

Fill hot jars to within half an inch from the top; adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for five minutes (begin timing when the water returns to boiling) Makes about 8 pints.

Notes: This is Maryanne's original recipe. We usually add another pepper or two, both for flavor and because the onions, peppers, and garlic are almost as popular as the cucumbers once they've been pickled.

If you have the tool and the time, consider slicing the cucumbers with a zig-zag knife, to make "ridged" pickle chips. It's the soak in the supercooled ice that makes these pickles crispier even after they're cooked, and the increased surface area that the crinkle-cutter makes gives them an extra snap.

Recipe by Maryanne Sacerdote MM format by Dave Sacerdote

We usually set aside an afternoon for making a batch of pickles. Once we get everything sliced and iced, we wash some canning jars and get our "work station" in order, then kick back with some cold drinks and some TV until it's Canning Time.


Maggie said...

Great looking pickles! What does the icing do? I just finished making a batch of sweet ginger cauliflower and a jar of refridgerator dills.

Dave said...

Salting the pickles and then putting them on ice helps make them crispy even after they're cooked and processed. Fresh, firm Kirby cucumbers sliced just a little less than a quarter-inch thick turn out the best (you can get an even thickness to your slices by using a food processor or one of those silly "Salad Shooters."

Maggie said...

Thanks, I'd never heard of that method.

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Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,
How long until the pickles are cured and ready to eat?

Dave said...

The pickles are ready almost immediately. If you want some for later that day, save one of the jars out and put it in the refrigerator instead of processing it in the boiling water bath. They're ready to eat when chilled.