Cucumbers can be easily turned into pickles with sweet bread and butter, perfect for sandwiches or snacks. You can store them in the refrigerator or use a water bath to preserve them.
The house had a lot of activity, and we made fresh pickles. Here are some of the memories I have from my childhood summers.
When I was young, my grandmother (my dad’s mother) and parents would pickle a lot. My dad’s favorite was spicy cauliflower and carrot pickles (I still await the recipes); mine was sweet watermelon. (I can’t find enough watermelons with thick enough rinds anymore).
Sweet pickles, like these bread-and-butter pickles (who thought of that name?) They never last long here; we eat them all up.
How to make bread and butter pickles
You can easily make bread and butter pickles. If you plan to store them in the refrigerator (to be consumed within a few weeks), you can skip many canning procedures.
We have adapted this basic but delicious recipe from different editions of The Joy of Cooking and some online research.
Ice and cooking for a very short period helps to keep cucumbers crisp. Pickling spices and vegetables can be experimented with. We have a recipe for jalapeno butter and bread pickles for those who like spicy pickles.
Do you have your favorite recipe for bread and butter pickles? Please share your favorite recipe in the comments.
Bread and Butter Pickles
Preparation time: 20 minutes
COOK TIME30 minutes
SALTING AND CHILLING CUBUBERS4 hours
TOTAL TIME4 hours 50 minutes
3 to 5 pints of YIELD
Pickling cucumbers that are as fresh as possible will make your pickles as tasty as they can be. Fresher cucumbers will make your jams crispier.
You can substitute pickling salt with kosher salt. Table salt contains additives that darken the pickles and change the color of the pickle juice.
The yield of canning recipes depends on several factors. This recipe yields between 3 to 5 pints of pickled cucumbers.
- 2 1/2 pounds pickling cukes, fresh off the market
- 1/4 cup pickling salt (see recipe note)
- 1 pound white onions or yellow onions thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- One tablespoon of mustard seeds
- One teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- Six allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice
- Six whole cloves plus a few ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Slice and rinse the cucumbers.
Rinse the cucumbers carefully, cleaning off any dirt stuck to the ribs. Cut off 1/8 of an inch at the ends, and throw them away. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick pieces and place them in a large serving bowl.
Cucumber slices can be drained, salted, chilled, and then re-salted.
Add all the pickling salt and the onions. Stir the cucumbers to distribute the pickling salt evenly. Cover with a thin, clean tea towel (not a Terry cloth). Cover with two or three inches of ice.
Place in the fridge and chill for four hours. Discard the ice. Drain the slices of cucumber and onion after thoroughly rinsing them. Drain and rinse again.
Heat the jars.
After scanning, if you plan to keep your pickles out of the fridge for any period, it is necessary to warm your canning bottles in a water bath.
Heat the empty jars in a 16-quart pot on a metal rack. Jars should rest on a metal rack, not the bottom of the pool. Bring a minimum of 1 inch of warm water above the jars to a rolling boil. Heat the jars to warm, then reduce heat to warm. The lids should be washed in hot soapy water.
How to make pickling syrup
Place the vinegar and sugar in a 4- or 6-quart pot. Do not add any salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the cucumbers and onion slices once the sugar is dissolved. Bring the syrup back to a rolling boil. Once the syrup starts to boil again, fill the hot jars with cucumbers and onion using a slotted teaspoon.
Add the pickling syrup to the jars.
Cucumbers and onions should be packed in jars up to 1 inch above the rim. Pour hot vinegar sugar syrup on top of them up to 1/2 inch below the edge.
Use a paper towel to wipe the rim. Put a clean, dry lid on the jar. Attach a metal screwband. Repeat the process with all remaining jars.
Process in a bath of hot water:
If you plan to store pickles from the fridge, you’ll want to process them in a hot-water bath.
The same pot of water that you used to can the jars should be used again. The water level should be at least one inch above the tops of the jars.
Bring to a hard boil for 15 minutes. Tongs or jar-lifters can be used to remove the jars.
You can adjust the processing time if you live above 1,000 feet. Follow these directions.
Let cool and store.
Allow to cool down until room temperature. Jars’ lids should pop as they seal. Do not store jars outside the refrigerator if the cover does not close properly.
Cans of bread and butter pickles appropriately stored can last up to one year in a dark, cool place. Opened jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used within three months.
Transfer the cooled jars to the refrigerator and consume within three months if you skip the water bath.