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Indulge in the timeless charm of homemade bread and butter pickles. This classic recipe combines the tangy crunch of pickling cucumbers with the subtle sweetness of onions, creating a delightful balance of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more.
Crafted with care, these pickles undergo a simple yet transformative process. Slices of pickling cucumbers and onions are bathed in a brine of vinegar, sugar, and aromatic spices. As they simmer on the stovetop, their vibrant colors meld with the fragrant notes of mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and ground cloves. The result is a medley of tastes that dance on your palate with each bite.
Helpful Tips To Make The Best Batch
- Choose the right cucumbers: Opt for pickling cucumbers rather than regular slicing cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers have a firm texture and thinner skin, which is ideal for achieving crispy pickles.
- Maintain uniform slicing: Try to slice the cucumbers and onions into uniform thickness to ensure even cooking and a consistent texture in the pickles.
- Use pickling salt: Pickling salt is recommended because it doesn’t contain additives like iodine or anti-caking agents, which can affect the quality and appearance of the pickles.
- Let the cucumbers and onions rest with salt: Salting the cucumbers and onions draws out excess moisture, resulting in crisper pickles. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly after the resting period to remove the salt.
- Sterilize jars properly: Sterilizing the jars before filling them with the pickles is crucial for safe canning and ensuring the pickles stay fresh. You can sterilize jars by boiling them in water or using a dishwasher’s sterilizing cycle.
- Follow proper canning procedures: When filling the jars with the pickles and hot liquid, leave the recommended amount of headspace (usually 1/2 inch) to allow for expansion during processing. Wipe the jar rims clean before sealing with lids and bands. The screw band should be tightened just to fingertip tight. It is important not to use force or to use jar tighteners when applying two-piece lids. During processing, the air is forced out of the jar. If the screw band is too tight, air cannot escape and jars will not seal. Properly processing the jars in a boiling water bath ensures a safe and effective seal.
- Allow for flavor development: While it may be tempting to sample the pickles immediately, it’s best to wait at least two weeks to allow the flavors to develop and mellow. This resting period enhances the taste and texture of the pickles.
- Store in a cool, dark place: Once the jars are properly sealed and the pickles have rested, store them in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cellar. This helps preserve their quality and extends their shelf life.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious and satisfying homemade bread and butter pickles that can be enjoyed for months to come.Print
- Wash the pickling cucumbers thoroughly and trim off the ends. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Thinly slice two medium onions. Place the sliced cucumbers and onion in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the pickling salt over the cucumber and onion slices. Toss them gently to ensure they are evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for about 2 hours to draw out excess moisture.
- After 2 hours, drain the cucumber and onion mixture and rinse them thoroughly with cold water to remove the salt.
- In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and ground cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the cucumber and onion slices to the saucepan with the boiling liquid. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the cucumbers to soften slightly but still maintain a crisp texture.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cucumber and onion slices into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace.
- Pour the hot liquid from the saucepan into the jars, covering the cucumber and onion slices completely. Ensure there are no air bubbles trapped inside the jars.
- Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and seal the jars with lids and bands.
- Place the jars in a boiling water canner or a large pot with a rack. Ensure that the jars are fully submerged in water. Process them in boiling water for about 10 minutes to create a proper seal.
- Carefully remove the jars from the canner and let them cool at room temperature. As they cool, you may hear a popping sound, indicating that the jars have sealed correctly.
- Allow the bread and butter pickles to sit for at least 2 weeks to develop their flavor before opening. Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
Please note that the number of cucumbers and onions is approximate, and you may need to adjust it slightly depending on their size. It’s important to maintain the correct ratio of ingredients to ensure the desired flavor and texture of the pickles.
This recipe makes 8 quarts. Each quart has 16 servings at 1 ounce each.
- Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Processing/Canning Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Diet: Vegetarian
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