Friday, August 27, 2010

Bread-and-Butter Pickles

For all those slicers..  I've been saving mine for a couple weeks in order to pound out a batch of these.  I've got 1 jar left from the ones I did last year that I've been saving.  Now that 7 more pints are in I'll move the old ones to the fridge and start using em without fear.

6 lbs of 4- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers

8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)

1/2 cup canning or pickling salt

4 cups vinegar (5 percent)

4-1/2 cups sugar 2 tbsp mustard seed –or 3T ground mustard

1-1/2 tbsp celery seed

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 cup pickling lime (optional- for use in variation below for making firmer pickles)

Yield: About 8 pints

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices.

Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt.

Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes.

Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling.

Fill jars with slices and cooking syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations (15 minutes at a boil) or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment. The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way with warm (120º to 140ºF) water.

Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180 to 185ºF water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180ºF during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185ºF may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.

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