Spicy bread and butter pickles
6 lbs pickling cucumbers (or any cukes - older is OK as long as skins are not tough), cut into thin slices (or chunks if odd-sized)
2 medium onions, cut into same size as cukes
2 large green or red bell peppers, cut into same size as cukes
4 cloves garlic, chopped, optional
2 serrano peppers, sliced thin
SPICES AND PICKLING INGREDIENTS
1 Tbs pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp Calcium chloride, for crispness - optional
2 cups sugar
4 bay leaves, broken up, but not too small - you want to be able to pick them out
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp cloves, generous broken up
1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated, use more if pre-ground
1 tsp dill seed
1 1/2 Tbs mustard seed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced fine
FOR THE JARS
8 pint canning jars and lids, sterilized - have a few more on hand
Prep. Time → 20 min
Cook Time → 30 min
1. My take on bread and butter pickles.
2. Original Recipe
3. 1. Put cucumbers, onions, and peppers into a large bowl, add all other ingredients and mix. Let 'marinate' over night.
4. 2. If liquid does not cover vegetables, add more vinegar and water in a 2:1 ratio.
5. 3. Put everything into a large saucepan, bring to boil. Bottle immediately for crispest pickles.
6. 4. With a slotted spoon, fill jars with the cucumber mixture. Pour in the boiling hot syrup and spices to fully cover cucumbers, leaving 1/4 inch of head room.
7. 5. Cover with lid and tighten. Wait for the magic sealing sound and you are good. If not put in fridge or water bath process (though they will be softer)
9. 1. Soak cukes overnight in cold water. Slice into 1/4 inch slices if small or halve or quarter and slice if large (remove seeds if tough), and cut onions and peppers to match size. Salt onions a little.
10. 2. Heat half the vinegar and water in a pan. Add cloves, bay leaves, and leaves of mace (I used this instead of nutmeg) (probably everything doubled). Boil gently for 30 minutes.
11. 3. Put vegetables into a large pan and strain the vinegar, water, and spice solution over everything.
12. 4. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.
13. 5. Take off the heat and put into bottles.
The Alternative avoids bay leaves and cloves in the pickles. Clove, I've found to be too strong and really annoying if bit into. Bay leaves are a choking hazard, and can cut the insides if consumed, and are a pain to remove. Not too hard in something liker kosher dills where you eat a pickle at a time, but really hard in these where you eat everything.
15. Have a few more jars on hand if the amounts are a bit unknown. Use half-pints for the bottom of the pot.
16. Author Notes
The overnight marination helps the calcium chloride do it's magic - keeping the pickles crisp.
I just put these aside and call it good. But you can water-bath process: here's the recommendation for that. To preserve, seal and process in a hot water bath 5 minutes, or for refrigerator pickles, leave out for 24 hours, then refrigerate up to 6 weeks.
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