Evidently this has been a ‘good’ year for cucumbers. I used to wonder why those people who grew them were so generous with their crop, now I know. I can't believe how fast they grow.
This morning I set to, to make some ‘Bread and Butter Pickle' I used a recipe I had noted down a while ago.
4 quarts sliced cucumbers (I took 32fl oz as an American Quart)
6 medium White onions, sliced.
One-third cup salt.
3 cups sugar
20fl. oz white vinegar,
3 teaspoons mustard seed and one and a half teaspoons each of ground turmeric and celery seed
I used my ancient Magimix for the slicing of cucumbers and onions, but I’m not sure if the result isn't a little too fine.
Mix the salt with the sliced vegetables and leave for a couple of hours, drain off the liquid that comes out, rinse with cold water and drain again. Press with a plate with weights on top to extract as much water as possible.
In the meantime make the pickling liquid.
Dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 20 fl. oz white vinegar, adding 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1½ teaspoons celery seed, and 3 teaspoons mustard seed.
When you have drained and rinsed the cucumber and onion, add them to the boiling pickling liquid, and bring back to the boil
Have ready hot preserving jars and a pan of hot water, big enough and deep enough to take the filled jars. Pour pickle into hot jars (I had enough for 3 1-litre jars and about a cup full over). Fasten the spring clip jars, if using screw-top Kilner jars loosen the caps by a quarter turn. Immerse the jars in the hot water and bring the water temperature up to 88ºc in about 10-15 mins and then hold that temperature for 10 minutes. Bale out some of the hot water and remove the jars onto a wooden surface to cool, tighten screw tops immediately you remove the jars from the water. Check for a seal when completely cold.
I am becoming more successful using the clip top jars now I use the faster sterilisation method, i.e hot contents, hot water to start with.
Two more recipes, very similar, but the last one is from a Good Housekeeping Recipe Book, does not call for heat sterilisation, and is for more manageable quantities.
But first the recipe from a most excellent book from North America called ‘Putting Food By’, mine a Fourth Edition was printed in 1991.
“Short Form” Bread and Butter Pickles
6 quarts thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about fifteen 6-inch)
6 medium onions, thinly sliced
½cup pickling salt
1½ quarts white vinegar
½cup whole mustard seed
1 tablespoon celery seed.
The method is exactly the same as the previous recipe. Allow several weeks for the flavour to develop, may also be made with crisp young zucchini.
Bread and Butter Pickle from Good Housekeeping.
3 large ridge or smooth skinned cucumber, sliced
4 large onions, skinned and sliced
45ml (3 level tablespoons) salt
450ml (¾ pint) distilled vinegar
150g (5oz) sugar
5mls (1 level teaspoon) each of celery seeds and mustard seeds.
Same method, cook the vegetables for three minutes in boiling vinegar mixture, pot while boiling hot, into hot jars and cover immediately. Done.