A summer taste of home: bread and butter pickles

A number of people have asked for my recipe for Bread and Butter Pickles so I thought I would share – it was given to me by an American friend who lives in Clun which is a village on the Welsh border in Shropshire (thank you Linda!). 

Apart from a little bit of patience it is dead easy and I make at least one batch every summer.  Now that I have my own cucumber plants (three varieties- Russian, long slim and cornichon) slowly taking over their corner of the potager- I suspect I will be making a quite a few batches of pickles this summer.  Let me know if you have any recipes to share.  

For these pickles I have been using the Russian variety – which also look like they would make good big fat dill pickles.  I have a mandoline to slice them and use the crinkle cut – as it reminds me of summer BBQs in the States, with a big jar of pickle slices to put on your likely overcooked hamburger (but tasted great).

Recipe from Linda (American measure- I have made some suggested adaptations to metric)

approx  4 cups pickles

Ingredients:
5 1/2 cup [1 1/2 lb./700g] thinly sliced pickling cucumbers [the firmer the better!]
1 1/2 TBSP  (24g) kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion [white onion pref.]
1 cup  (200g) granulated sugar
1 cup (250mL) white vinegar
1/2 cup (125mL)  apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar packed (muscovado sugar)
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/8 tsp ground turmeric

1. Combine cucumbers and salt in a large shallow bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours. Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well and return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion.

2. Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temp 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. 

Tips: Don’t cut the cucumbers too thin. They want to be crunchy! Also you don’t need to wait 24 hours to tuck in!

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