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Sweet-and-Spicy Bread-and-Butter Pickles

To sterilize canning jars, submerge them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes and until they are ready to be filled. Use new lids, and sterilize them according to manufacturer's instructions. For complete instructions, refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's canning guidelines.

  • yield: Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers or summer squashes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (about 6 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium white onion (about 8 ounces), halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 3 cups cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes or 3 dried hot chiles

Directions

  1. Step 1

    To draw out excess liquid and increase crunch, toss cucumbers and onion with salt in a large colander. Add ice, and toss again. Place over a bowl, and refrigerate, tossing occasionally, for 3 hours. Drain. Rinse well, and drain again.

  2. Step 2

    Bring vinegar, sugar, mustard and celery seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, and red-pepper flakes to a boil in a saucepan. Add cucumbers and onion. Return to a boil (if using squashes, add them, then remove from heat; do not return to a boil).

  3. Step 3

    Ladle into 3 hot sterilized pint jars, leaving about 1/2 inch below each jar's neck. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth; cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Using tongs or a jar clamp, transfer jars to a rack in a large canning pot or a large, deep pot filled with hot water, being sure to keep jars upright at all times. (Jars should be spaced 1 inch apart, and should not touch sides of pot.) Cover with water by 1 inch. Cover pot, and bring to a boil. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool. Press down on each lid. If lid pops back, it's not sealed; refrigerate unsealed jars immediately, and use within 1 month. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, July 2007

Reviews (4)

  • 1 Aug, 2013

    Made these pickles twice and both times a lot of liquid remained.

    Then came across this recipe

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/bread_butter_pickles.html

    Much less vinegar and sugar.

  • 16 Aug, 2011

    I made these pickles today and doubled recipe. I made some slight modifications - using some brown sugar and white vinegar. It was terrific!!! Thank you, Martha - always a winner!!!

  • 7 Jul, 2011

    100 STARS!! I have been making this recipe for several years, and felt compelled to comment, since I think this is time 10. AWESOME!!! Have not changed a thing, except that I have learned to make an additional half recipe of the liquid, so I can fill the jars to the top. They don't need to be processed, if you are going to eat them w/i about 2 weeks, but they are so good, that you'll want to make more to have later, so then process those. So good!!

  • 21 Jun, 2010

    This recipe is almost the same as one that I got on this website back in 2003. Step 3 said , "Ladle pickles into clean jars. Let stand until cool. Cover, and store, refrigerated, for up to 1 month." I have made them that way since I don't have the canning equipment. I have also cut the recipe in half if I don't have enough cukes at one time. It works and they are delicious! Also, in the older recipe, the crushed red pepper was not called for, buy I added on my own.