I love pickles. I eat pickles all. the. time. When I was younger, I thought sweet pickles were really gross, and I’d only ever go for classic dill pickles. Most of the time, I still don’t like sweet pickles, as they’re usually way too sweet for me. My sister and I stopped at a farm stand on the way home from my grandma’s back in August, and we tried some pickles that I found to be the perfect sweetness, and I decided that I must make my own pickles to suit my own tastes. Enter in these homemade bread and butter pickles! Sweet and tangy, my perfect pickle combination.
These bread and butter pickles are extremely easy in that you don’t have to can them! These are refrigerator pickles, so you just make the pickling liquid, pour it over the cucumber spears, let it sit for an hour or so, and then pop it in the fridge for a few days to develop that delicious pickle flavor. They stay good for about 2 weeks – good luck keeping them for that long!
You can make these pickles either by cutting the cucumbers into spears, like pictured, or you can slice them up into rounds. If you’re an inpatient pickle maker, go with the rounds, as they take a lot less time to develop the pickle flavor, since they’re not quite as thick! Since I love just eating pickles by the spear, I wanted to make them that way. They took an entire extra day, which I have to be honest, was extremely hard to wait for. But I’m a notoriously impatient person. 😉
Another great part about this pickle recipe is the pickled onion! I almost want to just make an entire jar of pickled onions, they’re that tasty. The bright yellow color comes from the turmeric that I used – you only add the littlest bit, but it imparts such a vibrant color! Try to buy pickling cucumbers from the store or local farmer’s market to make these – those are the smaller cucumbers. Mine were rather large for pickling cucumbers, pretty stout but still short, from our local farmer’s market. Alex was hoping we could make full sized pickles with another recipe that is fermented in brine (which, if they turn out, will be shared sometime soon), but once he saw how large they were, he knew there was no way.. we’d have to wait forever before those huge pickles would be pickled all the way through!
Because I don’t like extremely sweet pickles – I definitely like a bit of extra tang – I added a decent bit less sugar than most standard bread & butter pickle recipes. If you like sweeter pickles, add more sugar! It’s best to taste the liquid before you pour it over the cucumbers, just to make sure you’re going to like it, of course.
These pickles are such a good complement to sandwiches or to snack on anytime! I’m excited to continue making them and to try my hand at other pickle recipes!
Do you ever pickle vegetables? What is your favorite thing to pickle?
- 1 1/2 lbs. pickling cucumbers, cut into spears or sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2-1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup, but use as much as you need based on your sweet preference!)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
Place your cucumber spears or slices in a large bowl, sprinkle with kosher salt, fill with cool water, and soak for about 2 hours.
Drain the cucumbers, rinse them well with cool water, and place back into the bowl. Add the sliced onion, and toss to combine with the cucumbers.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugars, vinegars, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric. Heat the mixture over medium low heat, bringing to a simmer, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved. If you added a lower amount of sugar, taste it as you heat it to see if you need to add any more sugar before pouring it over the cucumbers!
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions, and allow to sit for about an hour at room temperature.
Cover the bowl, and allow to sit for at least 24 hours for slices or at least 48 hours for spears. Transfer to an airtight container to store. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker