We’re 100% committed to Jay’s idea of giving homemade Christmas gifts again this year. Canning is a fun way for us to gift our love of cooking and baking (plus we won’t have to worry about gifts come December!) We’ve tried onion jam (which we learned isn’t actually safe to jar in the way we did and we ended up throwing it out, but if you want to make onion jam just make it on a smaller scale and store in the fridge for a few weeks or freeze it in ice cube trays and use in a recipe!), Strawberry Vanilla-Bean Jam, and now Bread and Butter Pickles. The pickles are the first ones we’re probably going to give as gifts. The Strawberry Jam is amazing but really expensive for such a small yield.
I’ve been obsessed with B&B Pickles since Jay and I bought a $5 jar of homemade B&B Pickles at a farmers market last summer. I like the sweetness of them, and I really enjoyed the stray onions throughout (which you don’t get in store-bought pickles). We thought this would be a great and fairly simple recipe that our family and friends will love. We had fun trying to cut the cucumbers evenly (note to self: buy mandolin) and Jay informed me while trying to toss cucumber ends and pieces in the trash can that the only reason he isn’t in the NBA is because of his throwing skills (he wasn’t happy when I pointed out the other reason is that most of the NBA players have like 2 feet on him).
This recipe was super easy (although a little time consuming) and we were so happy to have the bulk spice section at our grocery store because we didn’t have to buy large amounts of each spice. Enjoy!
Bread & Butter Pickles
Makes 7 pints
For this recipe you will need:
5lbs cucumbers (Kirby cucumbers are recommended but we just went for your normal salad cucumbers)
1lb Vidalia onions
1/2cup + 1T kosher salt
2cups ice cubes
4cups distilled white vinegar
2T mustard seeds
1T black peppercorns
- Layer the cucumbers and onions in a large bowl with 1/2cup kosher salt. (This was the fun part for me, it reminded me of making scalloped potatoes like my g-ma makes with potato coins, onions, S&P, flour, and cheese. yum-0!)
- Let sit for 2 hours.
- Drain and Rinse cucumbers in a colander and let them drain in the sink while you prepare the pickle juice.
- Combine 4cups distilled white vinegar, 2cups water, remaining 1T kosher salt, 1cup sugar, 2T mustard seeds, 1T black peppercorns, 1T celery seeds, 1T ground turmeric in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the cucumbers and onions and bring back toa boil to ensure the cucumbers are heated through.
- Pack pickles into jars, covering with 1/4inch of liquid and leaving 1/4inch of headspace.
- Put on lids and bands until finger-tip tight.
- Boil jars in water with a canning rack and lid for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let jars rest for 5minutes.
- Remove the jars, let them cool, and store for up to 1year.
- This recipe is from Put ‘em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton, Storey Publishing, 2011.