Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bread and Butter Pickles

I took a preserves class at Loyalist College in Belleville last year. It was a very informative and fun class and that made me even more excited to preserve all things!

This recipe for bread and butter pickles was a huge hit at home last year so this year I planted my own pickling cucumbers with the intent of making pickles.

I was out in our veggie garden last night and picked the four cucumbers that were ready and rushed into the house to make pickles.

We begin.

If you are new to canning do not fret, it's easier then it looks and hopefully I can get your started here.

You're going to need a big pot. You can buy a canning kit at Walmart or Canadian Tire if you like.  I just use a big pot with  a small cooling rack at the bottom this is so your jars don't jump around too much while they boil, they may break.  A pair of tongs will also come in handy.

Get your big pot of water to a boil and while you're waiting grab another pot and start making the pickling liquid. This is an easy 1 to 1 to 1 ratio, which makes it easy to adjust depending on how many cucumbers you have.

With my four cucumbers I started here, with the pickling liquid

Pickling Liquid
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar

You can double, triple and quadruple this if you need to. If you make too much you can store it in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Pickling Cucumbers
Pickling spice  (1 tsp per 500ml jar 1 tbsp per 1L jar)
Fresh dill
2 cloves of garlic per jar

Stir and heat the pickling liquid in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.  You want the liquid to hot when you pour it over the pickles.

Now your big pot O water is boiling. Gently place your jars, lids and screw tops in the pot. Don't over crowd the jars, if you have a lot do them in stages. Boil the jars for about 10 minutes making sure the tops are covered with water. This will sterilize your jars.

While you wait for the jars to sterilize you can cut the cucumbers.  Cut them to the thickness you prefer. I made mine a little thick last night, mostly because I had a little helper and I was more concerned about not having bread and butter fingers.

Using a pair of tongs, take your jars, lids and screw tops out of the boiling water and set them on a dish towel.

Keep your water boiling for later.

In the bottom of the jars place in your fresh dill (as much or as little as your like), pickling spice and garlic. Then pack in those cucumbers. Once the cucumbers are in pour the hot pickling liquid into your jars,  leave about an inch to half and inch of room at the top of the jar.

Wipe the rim of the jar with a dish towel or paper towel that has been dipped into boiling water. We want to keep things as clean as possible. Put on your lids and gently screw on the rings.

Now we're going to place the filled jars back into the pot of boiling water and process them for about 10 minutes. If you have to do this in stages don't worry, the jars can wait, you don't have to put them all in at once.

After you've processed your jars take them out of the water, place them on the kitchen counter and let them sit for at least 12 hours. You may hear the joyful 'pop' we canners love! That means your jars have sealed. Your jars won't all pop at once, it may take several hours for certain jars to seal. If you're worried you can put sealed jars back into boiling water and process them again, if they still don't seal just eat your pickles right away. They should be good in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

I hope this recipe is helpful to those of you who are new to canning and tasty for those of you that LOVE pickles!

Good luck and enjoy!

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