Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bread & Butter Pickles

Ok, today is another type of sweet pickle. Two different recipes to try out!

Bread-and-Butter Pickles
  • 6 lbs. of 4- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
  • 4 cups vinegar, 5 percent acidity
  • 4-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 cup pickling lime (optional for use in variation below for firmer pickles)
Yield: About 8 pints
Preparation: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16 inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt. Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.
For firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16 inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and 1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamelware container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices in lime water for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution, rinse, and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle. Drain well.
Making pickles: Add sugar and remaining ingredients to vinegar in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes. Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling. Fill pint jars with slices and cooking syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process as below or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment described previously.
Recommended Process (Bread-and-Butter Pickles)
Boiling Water Bath, Pints or quarts 15 minutes
Storage: After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.
Variation: Squash bread-and-butter pickles. Substitute slender (1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter) zucchini or yellow summer squash for cucumbers.

Spicy Bread-and-Butter Pickles
  • 3 qts. cucumbers, medium size, sliced
  • 8 onions, small, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canning salt
  • 1 pint vinegar, 4 to 6 percent acidity
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Yield: 4 to 5 pints
Sprinkle sliced cucumbers and onion with canning salt and let stand 1 hour. Drain the liquid from these vegetables and rinse. Make hot syrup of the sugar, vinegar, and spices. Bring the syrup to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions to the hot syrup and bring to a boil again. Pack into clean, hot pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Wipe rim of the jar. Adjust jar lid as in fresh-pack dills. Have water boiling in canner. Process in simmering water bath at 200 to 205 degrees F for 5 minutes. Count processing time when water returns to a simmer. Set the jars upright several inches apart on a wire rack or wooden board to cool.

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