bread and butter pickles

3:31 PM

Every summer, my mom's and aunt's garden is over flooding with cucumbers. Cucumbers (and tomatoes) are pretty much our main food source of the summer. We eat them a million different ways. Fresh, pickled, in salads, on sandwiches, etc. You get the point. WE LOVE CUCUMBERS!  My mom always makes Russian-styled pickles. They're a little different, salty, dilly, vinegary, yet not as tart as American-style pickles. Definitely not sweet! Though the Russian pickles are something I grew up with and something I enjoy every once in a while, my all-time favorite pickles are bread and butter pickles! 

To be honest, I didn't actually try bread and butter pickles till this last June. I know what you're thinking, how in the world did you live your entire life without eating these delicious things?! I ask myself that too. I had always just stuck to boring old dill pickles. But then my life changed. And now I don't want boring old dill pickles. Now I only want sweet and tangy, crunchy and crispy bread and butter pickles. These crunchy pickles just go so well with everything. I even eat them on their own as a snack! (i think i've gone pickle-crazy, lol). 

So when I saw Chef John's post about bread and butter pickles on my newsfeed, I got SO excited! I had never even considered making my own pickles (even though I grew up watching people around me pickling all. the. time.) Just for some reason, the thought of making pickles never entered my mind. Because my mom's garden was overflowing with cucumbers, I decided to give Chef John's recipe a try. I also tried Recipe Girl's recipe to see which one was better (since i had sooooo many cucumbers!). Out of the two I tried, Chef John's was the clear winner. The other one was too apple-cider-vinegary for my liking and it just wasn't as flavorful as Chef John's. I think his recipe is perfect.

Technically, I didn't actually can these. I didn't want to deal with that (maybe next summer). I just made refrigerator pickles. So I don't know exactly how long these will last in the refrigerator, but that's not even really a problem. My husband and I eat these like candy! So they'll be gone before the month ends. You could easily can these using the water bath method. I definitely will next year! 

I made these pickles twice. The first time out of curiosity and the second time because they are outrageously delicious. Yes. I just said outrageously delicious. I gave a couple jars to my inlaws, a couple jars to my family and a jar for my aunt and uncle. EVERYONE liked loved them (except for my dad--he just doesn't like sweet pickles). People were asking for the recipe. When that happens, you know you gotta blog about it! 

Although cucumber season has come to an end, you can still get successful pickles from store bought cucumbers! They would probably even be better from store bought (since you don't have to worry about bitter garden cucumbers). I hope everyone gives this recipe a try. They are really easy and  super fun to make! 

Click "read more" to see the recipe and step-by-step pictures of the process. Enjoy!

(beginning of the process)

(after 3.5 hours)

(right as they enter the brine)

(after simmering for a couple minutes)

(after being cooled completely)

Bread and Butter Pickles
{Adapted from Food Wishes}

Ingredients (~2 pints):
  • 2 lbs pickling or other firm, little cucumbers
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced 
  • Slice the cucumbers into quarter-inch rounds and transfer to a large bowl. Add onion and red pepper.
  • Pour the kosher salt into the bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, stirring every hour.
  • Transfer the cucumber mixture into a colander and rinse under cold water for 3-4 minutes, until thoroughly rinsed.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, mustard seeds, cloves, turmeric, peppercorns and garlic. Add the vinegar and water and stir.
  • Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cucumber mixture to the saucepan. As soon as the side of the saucepan begins to simmer, turn off heat and let the mixture cool completely in room temperature.
  • As soon as the pickles are cool, transfer them to jars and refrigerate.

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