I’ve been wanting to make my great-grandmother’s recipe for bread and butter pickles. Her recipe takes two full days to make. I think that’s a lot of work now, so I can’t imagine how it was done before refrigeration, fancy kitchen appliances, and most of all air conditioning. I decided to do a very similar recipe as my great-grandmother’s, as far as the ingredients go, but it took a lot less time to make. The end result was identical in taste and appearance. In fact, the pickles were so good they didn’t last long in my household.
- 9 cups of pickling cucumbers sliced
- a couple of shakes or a pinch Tumeric
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seed
- 1/2 tsp. Celery Seed
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 large onion, sliced
Quantity: ~4 pint jars – I like to use mason jars without shoulders when canning pickles.
- Clean your cucumbers, and slice off the ends and discard. Slice your cucumbers. I used a mandolin to create even, consistent slices.
- Measure out 9 cups of cucumbers and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle salt over sliced cucumbers, toss, cover them lightly and place them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to chill. This will help them lose their excess water.
- Rinse them off in and place them back in the bowl, with the onions. Toss them both together to make sure they are mixed evenly.
- Get your jars and lids heating in a water bath. They need to heat for at least 10 minutes before being filled. (*Remember you only have to heat the mason jar and round lid, not the ring for the jar tops.)
- In a pot on the stovetop, combine all the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Stir to make sure the sugar melts and mixes with the vinegar to create the hot brine for the pickles.
- While the mixture is preparing, pull your jars out of the hot water bath.
- Fill the jars with the cucumber and onion mixture, making sure to use a funnel to keep the rims of the jars from being touched. Make sure to utilize all the space in each jar and continue to pack the cucumbers and onions in.
- Using your mason jar funnel, pour the hot brine, liquid, into the jars. Make sure to leave 1/4″ headspace for each jar and wipe down the rims before sealing them thoroughly.
- Place all the lids and rims on the jars.
- Place all the jars back in the hot water bath for 30 minutes. The hot water should cover the tops of the jars by at least an inch.
- Remove the jars once they’ve processed in the hot water bath, wipe off all of the water from the jars, and allow them to cool on a countertop. Your cucumbers will officially be pickled within 24 hours, but they are even tastier if you can wait at least 48 hours to crack open the jar. The longer the jars sit, the more tastier the pickles will be. Your pickles will be good for one year from the date you processed them, so make sure to label and date all of your jars.