Bread-and-butter pickles

Yield: 8 pints

Measure Ingredient
6 pounds Pickling cucumbers (4- to 5-inch size)
8 cups Thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)
½ cup Canning or pickling salt
4 cups Vinegar (5 percent)
4½ cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Mustard seed
1½ tablespoon Celery seed
1 tablespoon Ground turmeric
1 cup Pickling lime (optional)*
1,001 - 6,000 ft: 15 min.
Above 6,000 ft: 20 min.

*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 ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment.

[Low-temperature pasteurization: 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 (120 degree to 140 degree F) water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180 to 185 degree F water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180 degrees F during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185 degrees F may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.] Variation for firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and ½ cup salt to 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamelware container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices in lime water for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution, rinse, and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle. Drain well.

Storage: After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.

Variation: Squash bread-and-butter pickles. Substitute slender (1 to 1-½ inches in diameter) zucchini or yellow summer squash for cucumbers.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Bread-and-Butter Pickles in a boiling-water canner.

Style of Pack: Hot. Jar Size: Pints or Quarts.

Process Time at Altitudes of 0 - 1,000 ft: 10 min.

=========================================================== * USDA Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (rev. 1994) * Meal-Master format courtesy of Karen Mintzias

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