Bread and Butter Pickles

by Michelle on April 29, 2011

Since I am so looking forward to summer this year, I decided to post my Bread and Butter Sweet Pickles. And this post has been written and waiting to be posted since last summer!

I love sweet pickles and they are one of my favorite late night snacks. And I particularly like this recipe because it’s a small batch and being I am the only person in my family that enjoys sweet pickles, 4-5 pints per year is plenty for me!

Canning is a lot of fun and I can’t think of anything more satisfying then seeing all my canning jars neatly lined up and glistening. So please don’t be afraid to can. There are some canning rules that can not be broken but as long as you are careful, canning is pretty fool proof. However, there are a few common mistakes that I see repeated over and over. Boiling Water Bath (BWB) means boiling not simmering and the water must be at least 1-2″ above the lid the jar. See below diagram

Bread and Butter Pickles
Recipe adapted a friend

4 quarts or about 4 lbs medium-sized cucumbers, unpeeled and cut into 1/8-1/4″ slices. **See Note
6 medium white onions, sliced
2 green bell peppers, chopped (I used 1 red sweet pepper and 1 yellow sweet pepper to add more color)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup salt (to reduce salt **See Note)
5 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
3 cups vinegar, 5% acidity

Makes about 4-5 pints

1. In a large colander add sliced unpeeled cucumbers, onions, peppers, and whole garlic cloves.
2. Sprinkle salt and gently fold.
3. Fill the sink with ice and nestle the colander in the ice. Add more ice to cover the colander. Let stand for 3 hours.
4. After 3 hours, remove any remaining ice from the colander and drain well. Discard the garlic. If you want to reduce the salt, after the 3-hour icing period, rinse the cucumber mix and drain well.
5. Start sterilizing jars and 2-part canning lids.
6. In a large, heavy bottomed pot add vinegar, turmeric, celery seed, mustard seed, sugar and gently mix. Heat to just boiling.
7. Add drained cucumber mix and heat 5 minutes.
8. With a ladle transfer pickles to hot, sterilized 1-pint jars, filling each jar to within 1/4-1/2″ of top rim (head space). Dampen a corner of a clean paper towel and wipe it around the jar rim to remove any spilled juice.
9. Center sterilized lids on jars and screw on bands.

10. Seal and process in a boiling water bath (BWB) for 15 minutes (20 minutes for 1,000 to 6,000 feet altitude).
11. When jars have cooled, finger tighten seals and store in a cool dark place for a few weeks before using. I usually store all my home-canned pickles in our extra refrigerator in the basement and my pickles stay nice and crisp, although they will darken in color.

**NOTE: Carolyn asked the cucumbers measurement would be in cups. As far as I can figure it would be about 12 cups of sliced cucumbers.

The salt in this recipe is to leach out any bitterness in the cucumbers. If you would like to reduce the salt, follow the directions, but at the end of the 3-hour icing period, rinse the cucumber mix and drain well. Then continue on to the next step. This will not remove all the salt, but it will remove a great deal of it.

AllRightsReserved@BigBlackDog

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Comments

  • Guff April 29, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I, too, am looking forward to summer, and to continuing my canning experiments. Thanks for the recipe and the tips. You are my canning sensei. Query: What is (are) 4 quarts of medium cucumbers in pounds?

  • Robyn | Add a Pinch April 29, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Love bread and butter pickles. These looks perfect.

  • Daisy April 29, 2011 at 8:44 am

    This recipe looks delicious! Pickles are on my list this year, and I also love bread and butter pickles. They are the best on a hamburger fresh off the grill!

  • Beau @ SomethingEdible.com April 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Rye, turkey, swiss, and grainy mustard, stat! :d

  • Lori E April 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I made some once and they were not very good at all. I will try again because your recipes are always spot on.

  • kat April 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Love, love, love bread & butter pickles

  • Renee (Kudos Kitchen0 April 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Nice to see some of your glass collection. I love to see them shining in the sun! Your pickles look very tasty. My mouth is watering just looking at your pictures. Thanks for the recipe :)

  • Kristen April 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Ohhhhh this has me itching for summer! Gorgeous looking pickles!

  • Carolyn April 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I am the only one who eats them here also. Love your recipe will be sure to try it soon.

  • Carolyn April 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Just read it a bit more carefully can you give me a rough estimate of the cucumbers in cups rather than quarts which I dont relate to at all.

    • Michelle April 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I answered Carolyn via email but I will post my response below in case anyone else is interested.

      Carolyn,

      I had another follower ask me how many pounds 4 qts of pickling cucumbers were. So I’m going to have to figure this out for both of you.

      My market carries pickling cukes frequently, so the next time they have them in stock, I’ll get back to you.

      Michelle

  • Elwood April 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I love bread and butter pickles too! They’re pretty much the only ones I buy. Now I can make my own. One question, when do you add the sugar?

  • Anne M April 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I just wonder could the salt be reduced or omitted? I’m on a low/no sodium diet and was wondering. I don’t want to compromise the end product or taste but whats your opinion? thanks! =)

    • Michelle April 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      I answered Anne via email but I will post my answer below in case anyone else is interested:

      Anne,

      Actually the salt is used to leach out any bitterness in the cucumbers. So what
      you can do is after the 3-hour icing period, just rinse the cucumbers well and
      drain. This will not remove all the salt but it will remove quite a bit of it.

      Michelle

  • Casey April 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Great pictures! I also have bread and butter recipe that calls for 4 quarts of cucumbers. I prefer to use zucchini (then the centers don’t fall out!) and I have wondered what it relates to in pounds, too. But I have since discovered (through lots of counting and a big pile of blossom ends) that it takes approximately 29 average size zucchinis. Also, if you’ve ever ordered a large soup from a Chinese restaurant, you can use that container to measure: 4 containers = 4 quarts!

  • Teruska April 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Love bread & butter jalapenos… tames the heat so everyone can enjoy them. Delicious!

  • Deanna April 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Great recipe – I love the tutorial and how you also included drawings to show placement of jars in the pot of water.

  • Cathy April 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    This is the recipe I always use and it is wonderful! I always use apple cider vinegar. Be careful with the pickling juice…it will stain your counter. I usually put down a few layers of newspaper for spills and slops. Just planted my cukes today, so hoping for a big crop to make many jars!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 1, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Great post! So creative

  • patsy May 18, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I just ventured into canning last year, and totally want to try sweet pickles now! I’m bookmarking this so I can make them this summer! Yum!

  • Shelby May 25, 2011 at 5:01 am

    I love homemade pickles but rarely do the canning myself – my mom and dad are big into preserving though so I go shopping in their cupboards. ;) These look yum!

  • Online Food Menus August 29, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Wow ! Its so colorful. Great homemade Pickle. Your post presents canning as a very interesting activity. Thanks for sharing.

  • ElizabethMD December 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    While I’m more of a vinegary/sour pickle, these sound delish :D

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