Have you been noticing the sales on cucumbers lately? Well gather up the cukes and make yourself enough Bread and Butter Pickles to last you until next season! They’re super easy to make, you’ll be delighted with the results, and you’ll experience that wonderful feeling of satisfaction as you look over the fruits of your labors!
I love bread and butter pickles, don’t you? Chopped up in pasta salads, slapped on sandwiches, or eaten whole, they’re simply wonderful. And I’m going to share my recipe with you today. I’m confident you’ll love them.
You can use whichever kind of cucumbers you want: Small pickling cucumbers, regular cucumbers or English cucumbers (the ones that come in shrink-wrapped). Just be aware that there are differences in the toughness of the skin as well as the seed content. Regular cucumbers (pictured below and what I used this time) have the toughest skins and the most seeds. But I found a terrific deal on them and so I decided to use them this time for my Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles. The skins are a little tough but we don’t mind the bit of crunchiness. If you’re using cucumbers that are particularly large in diameter with a lot of seeds in the middle, you will end up with slices that have no center – like doughnut pickles. Again, that didn’t bother me since I can’t see them once they’re on my sandwich anyway, right? But this is just to let you know what you can expect depending on what kind of cucumbers you use. English cucumbers have a slightly softer skin and fewer seeds. If you want the softest skins and fewest seeds possible, go for the small pickling cucumbers.
This also recipe works equally well for making whole pickles. I’ve just sliced the cucumbers in this recipe for sandwiches.
Let’s get started!
I like to leave the peels on for looks, but that’s entirely a matter of personal preference. Feel free to peel them if you prefer. If you’re leaving the peel on, be sure to thoroughly wash them. I recommend using an organic vegetable cleaning spray or solution.
You can slice them by hand with a knife or use a fluted mandolin slicer like I did to give it a pretty design.
Just look at that gorgeousness!
Slice the onions.
Place the cucumber slices and sliced onions in a large nonreactive bowl, pour the salt over, then pour water over until the veggies are covered. Let sit for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, repeat.
Place the cucumbers and onions in a large stock pot with all the remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continuing boiling for 10 minutes. Ladle the pickles into sterile hot jars and gently screw on the lids. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes (if at a high altitude, 25 minutes.)
Enjoy! Will store for up to a year (and beyond, but flavor may be compromised).
- 2½ lbs firm cucumbers (the smaller in diameter the better), cut in ¼ inch slices
- 1 large sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla Walla), cut in half and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
- 4 allspice berries
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Place the cucumber slices and onions in a large bowl. Pour the salt over and add water just until covered. Let sit for 6 hours or overnight.
- Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander, rinse thoroughly with water, then drain again.
- Place the cucumbers and onions in a large stock pot and add the vinegar, sugar, and all spices. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into glass jars and store in the fridge where they will keep for several months. (For best flavor wait a few days before eating them.)
- For long-term storage: Ladle the pickles into sterile hot jars and gently screw on the lids. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes, if at a high altitude, 25 minutes.
- Will store for up to a year in a cool, dark place (for optimal flavor use within 6 months).