Bread and Butter Pickles

16 Jul

I never had a strong opinion one way or the other about bread and butter pickles until college, when my bestie and roomie, Julie, started to put them on our shopping list.  I then discovered that I loooooved them as a snack.  I love the way the sweetness of the sugar plays against the tartness of the vinegar, the crunch of the pickle, and the aroma of the spices.  So, when I saw a precious little bundle of pickling cukes in our weekly CSA share, my mind immediately jumped to the idea of creating my own bread and butter pickles – all the more so because it is important to me to try and use all means necessary to use and preserve our weekly CSA goodies.

Pickles are actually delightfully easy to make.  There is no need to be intimidated by the canning process, which is actually fairly straightforward.  I detailed what you need to do below, although I didn’t bother sealing the jars because I know these will be gobbled up well within the several weeks they will be viable under refrigeration.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Adapted from Simply Recipes


.625 lb. pickling cucumbers

1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 tbs. pickling salt

1/3 cup white distilled vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 tsp. mustard seeds

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 inch cinnamon stick

3 whole cloves

Pinch ground nutmeg

Large pinch turmeric

Additional Equipment:

1 pint-sized canning jar, unused lids, metal screw bands for canning lids

1 metal collander or canning rack

Mandolin, fitted with “crinkle” blade


Carefully clean the cucumbers, being sure to scrub them so they are physically clean and free from any dirt or debris.  Slice off each end and run through “crinkle” blade of mandolin on 1/8″ setting.  Alternatively, slice the cucumbers about 1/8″ wide.

Place cucumbers in a large bowl.  Add sliced onions and pickling salt and stir to thoroughly combine.  Cover with a clean, thin tea towel.  Cover towel with a few inches of ice.  Place bowl in the refrigerator in let chill four hours.  Discard any remaining ice.  Drain and thoroughly rinse cucumbers and onions.  Repeat.

Regardless of whether you are going to store your pickles outside of the refrigerator or inside of the refrigerator, you must sterilize your jar.

Storage inside of refrigerator:  Run jar through dishwasher or place in a 200º oven for 10 minutes.

Storage outside of refrigerator:  Place empty jars on a metal rack or metal collander in a large pot.  Fill pot with warm water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low in order to keep jars hot and ready for canning.  Pour boiling water over both lids and rings.

Place vinegar, sugar, and all of the spices in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Once sugar as dissolved, add cucumbers and onions.  Bring to a boil again.  As soon as the vinegar solution boils, use a slotted spoon to start packing sterilized or hot jar with cucumbers and onions.  Pack the jar about an inch from the rim with vegetables.  Pour hot vinegar solution over the cucumbers and onions to about a half inch from the rim.  Wipe the rim clean with a paper towel.  Place a sterilized lid on the jar and secure with metal screw cap.

If storing in the refrigerator:  Transfer to refrigerator.  Store about a five days before eating for maximum flavor.

If storing outside the refrigerator:  Transfer the jar to the hot water bath.  Water must be about an inch over the top of the jar.  Raise heat and boil vigorously for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from water and let cool.  Once opened, lid should make a “pop” noise if it was properly sealed.

4 Responses to “Bread and Butter Pickles”


  1. Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 21, 2011

    […] Homemade bread and butter pickles (including the onions) […]

  2. Geauga Family Farms CSA – Week Six « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 25, 2011

    […] against adding eggs as an extra because we were going to be out of town for four days.  The bread and butter pickles I posted last week were made from the pickling cucumbers we received in week four.  I’ve […]

  3. Refrigerator Dill Pickles « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 31, 2011

    […] pickling cucumbers in our weekly CSA baskets.  I’ve already made a batch of really delicious bread and butter pickles from them, but since Zak prefers dill, I thought I’d try my hand at those as well.  These […]

  4. Breaded Pan-fried Cod with Roasted Vegetable Israeli Couscous Salad « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - August 1, 2011

    […] and I am currently salivating thinking about the fixings I have for a crispy cod sandwich with some bread and butter pickles and a side of the couscous for […]

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