June 20, 2012
Bread & Butter Pickles
Makes about 8 quarts. Recipe is by Beth Colvin. Use a mandolin slicer with a finger guard to make quick work of the slicing — and keep all your fingers.
25 cucumbers, about 10 lbs., washed well and sliced thin
5 to 6 medium purple onions, sliced thin
2 tbls. minced garlic
2 tbls. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup salt
4 cups cider vinegar
5 cups white sugar
2 tbls. mustard seed
11/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1 tbl. ground tumeric
1. In a large, nonreactive container (I use an ice chest), put the sliced cucumbers, onions, garlic, pepper and canning salt. Stir to combine and allow to sit for at least 3 hours. Add a couple of quarts of water, stir again to rinse and drain.
2. In a very large pot, bring enough water to a boil to cover filled jars by 1 inch. Put cold jars, lids and rings in cool or just warm water and, over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.
3. In another large pot, combine the cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, cloves and tumeric. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add the cucumbers and onions. Stirring occasionally, allow to just barely come back to a boil. Remove from heat.
4. Remove jars and lids from the canning pot. Using a slotted spoon, fill jars with cucumbers and onions. Push them down lightly to pack, then ladle the liquid over the cucumbers. Leave about a 1/2 -inch space in the jar. Run a spatula or butter knife around the edges to release any trapped air. Place the hot lids on the jar and secure with rings.
5. Return the jars to the hot-water bath, making sure there’s at least an inch of water over each jar. Bring the water to boil, then cover and boil for 10 minutes. Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the water and place on a counter covered with a towel. You may hear some popping as the jars seal; that’s normal. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. If the seals are correct, you should not be able to pop the lids. If not, refrigerate and use immediately. Correctly sealed jars should have the rings removed and can be stored in a cool, dark place for at least a year.