Thursday, July 26, 2012

Food: Bread-and-Butter Pickles Recipe and Tutorial

Thanks to my SIL Mel for the photo. 
Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Yield: about 8 pints.

6 pounds of 4 to 5 inch pickling cucumbers
8 cups thinly sliced onion (about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
1 tablespoon ground turmeric

or you could go to Walmart and buy a pack of Ball Bread-and-Butter pickle mix.

Wash your cucumbers.
Cut the ends off.
Cut the cucumbers into 1/2 inch slices. You can do them crosswise or lengthwise.

Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt and stir making sure the salt covers all the slices. Cover with a clean tea towel (no terry cloth) and top with 2 inches of ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

You will want to wash your jars.

You can wash the jars in the dishwasher (don't forget the detergent) on HOT with a heated dry. Or you can wash them by hand.

If you choose to wash them by hand, you will need to sterilize them. To do this place the jars right side up on the rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot water. Not boiling. Water needs to be 1 inch above the top of the jars. Boil for 13 minutes. Leave jars in simmering water until you are ready to use them.

If you washed your jars in the dishwasher you still need to put them into the boiling-water canner. But in this case, the water just needs to be simmering. This will reduce the risk of the jars breaking when you put the hot food into them. Leave the jars in the simmering water until you are ready to use them.

Prepare your bands and lids by washing them with hot soapy water. Rinse.

Heat your lids and rings in simmering water until you are ready to use them. 

Remove cucumbers and onions from fridge, discard ice, rinse the vegetables well, drain. 

Combine 4 cups of vinegar, 4 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of mustard seed, 1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed, and 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric in a large pot. Boil for 10 minutes. 

Add cucumbers and onions into the syrup. Bring to boil again. 

Now you can take a spoon (with holes) and start packing the jars with cucumbers and onions. Fill to 1 inch below the rim. Once the jars are filled with vegetables you can ladle the syrup into the jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. 

Wipe the rim of the jars clean. 

Quickly put on your lid and ring while the liquid and jars are hot. You may need to hold the jar with a dishtowel while putting the lid and rings on as it will be very hot. Tighten fingertip tight. Don't over tighten.

Process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. To do this you just put the jars on the canning rack and lower them into simmering water. Make sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Cover with lid and heat to a steady boil for the amount of time on the recipe. Turn off the heat and let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes. 

Remove jars from water and sit them upright on a towel on the counter for 24 hours. 

Press the center of the cool lid. If the jar is sealed the top will be flat or even look like they are caved in a smidge. There will be no bump on top and it won't make a popping sound when you touch them. If your jars did not seal you will need to put the pickles into the fridge. They will be good for around 3 months.

If you plan to store your pickles in the fridge at all times you can skip processing in the boiling-water canner at the end. However if you are going to store them in the pantry you must do this step.

Wait 4 to 5 weeks before they are used for ideal flavor. 

Store in pantry for up to 1 year. 

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