Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can-Do Attitude: Bread & Butter Pickles!

Thomas suggested trying pickles the other day.  I haven't ventured in this realm before (ie: non-fruit canning), but I'm always willing to give a good recipe a try.

That being said, we couldn't agree on dill pickles (which he enjoys), or bread and butter (which I adore).  Obvious, I'm going to do both, but the B&B's sounded easier, so that is where I started.

Oh, and I love any excuse to use my crinkle cutter!
This recipe was found in Canning for a New Generation.  While there are literally a ton of recipes for pickles out there, I liked this one for using honey instead of sugar.  I'm not such a fan of adding onions, but I thought it would help with the overall flavor.

Honeyed B&B Pickles - made8 pint jars for me
3 lbs pickling cucumbers (3-4" long)
1 pound small onions (about 2)
1/4 cup + 1 T kosher salt
2T yellow mustard seeds
1T celery seeds
1-2t of crushed red pepper flakes
6C apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3/4C mild honey
1 1/2t turmeric
1 1/2t dry mustard powder

To start, cut the ends off of your cucumbers, then cut into 1/4" rounds.  Cut your onions into quarters, then slice into thin half-circles.
Put cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, sprinkled with 1/4 C salt, tossing to combine.  Cover with a layer of ice cubes and refrigerate for 8 hours or over night. 

The next day, pick out any ice, drain well, and rinse under cold running water.  Then, toss with mustard seeds, celery seeds, red pepper flakes, then set aside.
 In a non-reactive (stainless) pot, combine vinegar, 1 1/2 C water, honey, turmeric, mustard powder, and 1T salt.  Bring to a full boil.

Working quickly, place your cucumbers and onion mixture into your jars (not too tightly).

Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into each jar, leaving 1/2" head space at the top.  Wipe the rims, place on your vacuum seal lids on, then screw down the rings until finger tight.  Finally, boil for a full 15 minutes.  Remove and let sit for 12 hours.  (Check after 1st hour to make sure the seal has set, if not, refrigerate that jar and use ASAP.)

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