Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bread and Butter Pickles

Since paying around $8 a jar for amazing Happy Girl pickles is just not a sustainable life plan for me, I decided I needed to learn how to pickle!  Improving my pickling skills is definitely a goal for 2012, although this particular jar is from the end of 2011.  These bread and butters aren't quite the Happy Girl pickles, although they're very good.  Part of the problem was user error - I cut these a bit too thin and cooked them too long, so they ended up not as crunchy as they could have been.  This recipe is also not as sweet as many bread and butter pickles, which may be a good thing depending on your preferences - I tend to like a slightly sweeter pickle, but of course your mileage may vary.  I'd say these are sort of halfway in between a sweet pickle and a sour pickle - definitely very tasty on a cheese sandwich!  Even though these aren't quite the Happy Girl pickles, I did really enjoy them, and I'll keep on searching for pickle nirvana in the new year!

Bread and Butter Pickles (adapted from Put 'Em Up!)
Makes about 7 pints (easily adapted)

5 pounds cucumbers, ends removed, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
1 pound large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 1  kosher salt, divided
2 cups ice cubes
4 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 T plus 1 tsp brown mustard seed
1 T black peppercorns
1 T cumin seeds
1 T fennel seeds
1 T turmeric

1. Toss the cucumbers and onions together with 1/2 cup of the salt in a large bowl and cover with a layer of ice cubes. Set aside for two hours.  Drain and rinse in a colander.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, spices, and remaining 1 T salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the drained cucumbers and onions and return to a boil, stirring to make sure that everything is heated through.  Remove from the heat.
3. Store in the fridge, or can in a boiling water bath.  Leave 1/4-inch headroom and make sure the pickles are covered with 1/4-inch of liquid.  Boil 10 minutes and then let rest in the water with the heat turned off for five minutes.  Set aside 24 hours and then check seals.  Use within one year (and refrigerate any jars that don't seal properly.)

I'm sending this post off to These Chicks Cooked!


  1. Reminds me of my mom. She used to bottle bread and butter pickles. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  2. I love B&B pickles and use to make but haven't made them in years! These look great and have inspired me to make them again! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I got to try the very pickles pictured here. Wonderful!!!