Friday, August 31, 2012

Bread and Butter Pickles

A couple years ago we made 85 jars of pickles that were half dill and half bread and butter.  We enjoyed them every week and gave plenty away.  Our favorite was the bread and butter so this year we were at it again.  Although we cut down on quantity and only made 39 jars.

I always use the National Center for Home Food Preservation when I am looking for canning recipes. Literally everything I've made from the site has been good.  Check it out.

This is their recipe with a few pics from our kitchen to show you the process.

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)
  • 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 making firmer pickles)
Yield: About 8 pints

Procedure: 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.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes. Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling.

Fill jars with slices and cooking syrup, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Variation 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.

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.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Bread-and-Butter Pickles in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar Size0 - 1,000 ft1,001 - 6,000 ftAbove 6,000 ft
HotPints or Quarts10 min1520

This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.