I’ve really been branching out in my canning over the last few years and these bread and butter pickles are one of my branches. I didn’t grow up in a pickle family – meaning that it wasn’t really something we served or had as a side dish. It wasn’t until I met my husband and every meal with his family had a pickle platter that I started to appreciate them. In fact, pickles are a great way to experiment and try new recipes. Be it classic dills, bread and butter or fermented, there are lots of options when it comes to homemade pickles.
These bread and butter pickles are a delightfully crunchy mix of both tangy and sweet flavours. This makes them the perfect side dish, topping on sandwiches/burgers or perhaps a yummy snack. While I do make a mean dill pickle, I have to admit that I prefer these babies.
This recipe is very versatile, suitable both for canning or refrigerator pickles. I also find your choice in pickling cucumbers is a little more flexible with this recipe than when you are making dills. For dill pickles you want to process them on the same day that the pickles were harvested (ideally) which means you need a lot of cucumbers all at once. But for these pickles I have been able to save up my own cucumbers from the garden over a few days with no impact on quality or taste.
This recipe makes 8 pint (500 ml) jars of pickles. Feel free to make more or less as you desire! For refrigerator pickles you simply skip the canning part and once the pickles have cooled you put them in the fridge, ensuring you consume them within a month.
Quick Jar Sterlization Note
New canning guidelines were released in 2015 and they state that if you are processing your jars in a water bath for ten or more minutes (or using a pressure canner) that it is not necessary to sterilize your jars. Sterilizing means boilings your jars for 10 minutes. So you may skip this step but it is still strongly recommended that you thoroughly wash and inspect your jars for any cracks. I also add the step of pouring boiling water over my jars before filling so that the drastic temperature change (hot stuff going into cool jars) does not cause them to crack or break.
For more information about the new canning guidelines check out this article.
Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
An amazing mix of spice, crunch and sweetness, these bread and butter pickles are sure to please!
3cupsorganic cane sugar(or your granulated sugar of choice)
2tspred pepper flakes
1tspground ginger(ground cloves can be substituted)
Servings: pint jars
Combine your sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and onions into a large pot/bowl. Sprinkle with pickling salt and mix well. Store in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours (up to 12 hours). This will help to draw out as much liquid from the vegetables as possible.
After the vegetables are done sitting in the salt, rinse and drain them and set them aside.
If you plan on canning your pickles, prepare your jars and lids now. Please see the above note for the new canning sterilization guidelines that came out in 2015.
In a large pot combine your vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, red pepper flakes, ginger and turmeric. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar dissolves increase the heat to high and bring the brine to a boil. Once boiling add your drained and rinsed vegetables to the brine, combining them well. Cook your vegetables until they are heat all the way through (about five minutes or so).
If you are making refrigerator pickles you can skip the instructions below. Place your pickles in the jar of your choice, cover with brine and once cooled place them in the fridge. Consume within 30 days.
Using tongs, fill your cleaned/sterilized jars with the vegetables. Once they are all full, using a ladle, cover your vegetables/pickles with the brine leaving 1/2 inch of headspace (12mm).
Using a wooden chopstick (or other non-metal utensil), stir your veggies and brine around a bit to loosen any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jars using a clean cloth and place your lids and rings on the jar (fingertip tight). Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy these pickles as much as our family does!
P.S. Please pin for future reference and to share in the pickle love 😉
Correne Omland is a Traditional Western Herbalist, homesteader, forager and a work at home mom. She lives with her family in rural Durham Region where they grow food, plants for medicine and raise chickens.
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