I made these pickles last summer when I had cucumbers galore. Maus asked that I make bread and butter pickles. She assured me she liked them. I tell you now, I wasn’t convinced it was a good idea. When you make pickles at home, you always end up with quite a few jars and my Maus is a fussy bugger. I figured if I made them, she would politely taste a few from one jar, tell me that they were nice and then forget about ’em. They would then languish in the pantry until I gave them away. You see, I don’t particularly like pickled cucumbers.
Well, I was wrong! Maus loved them and has gone through several jars. My sister, Sandra, loved them, too. She even came back for seconds. As it turns out, of all the recipes I made last summer, these pickles have been the most popular. Several people have asked for the recipe and I had to admit I had not got around to doing a post on them. I was making so much stuff at the time, I wasn’t in need of a topic to write about, thus a post never happened.
The recipe is from Ball ‘s Blue Book. Being American, the quantities were not metric but I just converted an American cup to our 250mil cup, quarts for litres, etc, and it worked out perfectly. If you are American, and have the Blue Book, you may prefer to use the original quantities.
Makes about 1.5 litres.
- 1 kilo small cucumbers (I used Lebanese cucumbers)
- ½ cup salt
- 3 litres water
- 5 cups vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ tsp celery seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Slice cucumbers (about ¼ inch thick) and put them into a large bowl.
- Mix the salt and 2 litres of the water until salt has dissolved then pour over cucumbers. Let stand 2-3 hours.
- Drain cucumbers, rinse, then drain again. Discard liquid.
- Combine 3 cups vinegar and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Add the drained cucumbers and simmer for about 8 minutes (cucumbers should not become soft).
- Drain well. Discard liquid.
- Combine 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of water with the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the drained cucumbers. Bring to a boil.
- Pack hot pickles and liquid into sterilised jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles.
- Process* in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Set a saucepan that is taller than the tallest jar you have used on the stove.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of the saucepan.
- Pour hot water into saucepan.
- Put sealed jars into saucepan.
- Top up hot water so it more than covers the tops of your jars.
- Bring to the boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from saucepan with a jar lifter or silicon gloves.
- Set aside to cool completely.
Refrigerate after opening.