Friday, August 7, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and butter pickles have always been my grandma's favorite. Unlike tart dill pickles, these are sweeter, probably from the 2 cups of sugar added to the vinegar during cooking, and a little spicier than your regular pickle. They get their signature yellow-green color from tumeric added to the vinegar during cooking. Bread and butter pickles supposedly got their name during the Great Depression when people would eat them on sandwiches in the place of meat between two pieces of buttered bread. That sounds somewhat gross, but I wouldn't be surprised if my Gram ate them that way. She has, after all, been known to drink pickle juice on occasion.

B&B's are best served as a side dish or a condiment to hamburgers.

This recipe makes 1 quart.

Eat Rating: Awesome. I am more partial to these than straight dill.
Difficulty: Easy to Medium.

Adapted from Brock Kuhlman, Hill's Kitchen

3 pickling cucumbers, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1 white onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup pickling salt
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper
3/4 tsp celery seeds (LN: Omitted. Didn't have any.)
1 inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
6 whole all spice
6 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp alum (LN: Omitted)

Place the cucumbers and onions in a colander sitting over a bowl and sprinkle vegetables with the salt. Let sit in the fridge overnight.

Place the jar(s) on a cookie sheet and place in the cold oven. Heat to 250 degrees. Once the oven reaches temperature, turn off the heat and leave the jars sitting in the oven.

Wash the cucumbers and onions to remove residual salt. Set aside.

Fill a small pot with water, bring to a boil then toss in the jar lids and rings to sterilize.

In a medium-sized pot, combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add the cucumbers and onions to the vinegar, then boil an additional 30 seconds.

Remove a jar from the oven with a clean kitchen towel. Using a slotted spoon, fill the jar with cucumbers and onions, leaving at least 1/4 inch of space from the top of jar. Once filled with cucumbers, pour vinegar into the jar, making sure the cucumbers are completely submerged and there is at least 1/8 inch between the top of the jar and the vinegar.

Remove lid and ring from water. Wipe the lip of the jar to make sure it is clean and nothing will mess up your seal. Place ring on lip of jar, then tighten the ring until it is finger tight.

Let the capped jar sit upright for two minutes, then flip over so the jar is sitting on its top and leave upside down for 10 minutes. Flip back over and let come to room temperature. The lid should form an airtight seal. You will know if when you push down on the lid it does not give.

Pickles are best if steeped 4 weeks but can be eaten after 10 days. Once the jar has been opened, eat within a few weeks.

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