These spicy bread and butter pickles are everything you want in a condiment. They are spicy and sweet. They are gorgeous on their own, but improve every sandwich. They partner with other pantry and fridge ingredients to make the perfect tartar sauce, almost as good as the perfect remoulade they also make. I can only imagine how good they are in a gin cocktail. That’s not true – I can do more than imagine, I will test this theory as soon as I finish this post.
These pickles make exceptional gifts and are so good they create lifelong friendships. Just make ’em, put ’em in a cute jar and give ’em to someone new. SHAZAM! Overjoyed pickle recipient magically transforms into lifelong friend. One warning, lifelong friends expect regular refills on the pickles. I usually double this recipe so I have a jar left for myself. Also, it might be weird to give these to a perfect stranger. Then again, maybe not. Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Makes 4 pints.
About 28 6″ cucumbers
1 large sweet onion
3 serrano peppers
1/2 cup pickling or canning salt
4.5 white vinegar
3 cups sugar
3 tbs mustard seeds
1.5 tsp celery seeds
1.5 tsp turmeric
3 tbs crushed red peppers
- Slice cucumbers about a ¼ inch thick (either as “coins” or long-ways). Discard ends (or turn them into a snack for your puppy). You will need 11 cups of sliced cucumbers. NOTE: It is important to get the small cucumbers as they do not have large seeds.
- Peel and slice onion thinly.
- If you like things hot, slice serranos into rounds. If you prefer less spice, remove the seeds and membranes (those are the white veins running up the pepper on the inside).
- Combine onions, serranos & cucumbers in a glass or stainless steel container and mix well with the salt.
- Completely cover with cold water and ice and leave on the counter for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare jars in a canning bath of boiling water.
- When the 2 hours are up, drain thoroughly rinse vegetables.
- In an 8 quart pan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, crushed red peppers and celery seeds. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in vegetables.
- Allow vegetables to come back up to a boil, stirring as needed to ensure all vegetables are generously coated in the pickling liquids and seasonings.
- Prepare jars, lids and canner.
- Fill sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim, center lid and tighten band to finger-tip tight.
- Process in boiling water for 15 minutes, remove canner lid and process for 5 more minutes.
- Add a cute label and start making friends!