Likely named for its reputation as an inexpensive sandwich stuffer during the Depression, this old-time favorite is among the sweetest of pickles, but with a delightfully sour bite. Follow these easy, step-by-step instructions to make your own bread and butter pickles using cucumbers straight from the garden.
You will need: 5 lbs pickling cucumbers / 2 medium onions / 1 gallon water / 1 cup kosher or pickling salt / 5 cups white vinegar / 5 cups sugar / 2 tablespoons mustard seed / 2 teaspoons celery seed / 2 teaspoons turmeric / 1 teaspoon whole cloves / large non-reactive pot / water bath canner / six 1 pint canning jars with lids and bands
Wash 5 pounds of cucumbers, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and place in a large container. Thinly slice 2 medium onions and add to the sliced cucumbers.
Dissolve 1 cup of kosher or pickling salt in one gallon of water and pour over the cucumber-onion mix to cover. Non-iodized salt is used in pickling brines to avoid the discoloration from produce coming into contact with iodine.
Cover the top of cucumbers with a layer of ice, cover the container with a lid or towel and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to allow cucumbers time to soak up the salt.
Before preparing the vinegar brine, fill a water bath canner or large pot with water and place over high heat. Bring water to a boil as pickles are being prepared.
Pour 5 cups of white vinegar into a large, non-reactive pot over high heat.
Add five cups sugar, two tablespoons mustard seed, two teaspoons celery seeds, two teaspoons turmeric and one teaspoon whole cloves to vinegar and bring to a boil.
Use a colander to drain salt water from the cucumber-onion mix and rinse with cold water.
Add cucumber-onion mix to boiling brine. Allow the mixture to return to a near boil, then remove from heat.
Prepare six 1-pint canning jars with lids and bands. Jars may be sterilized by placing in boiling water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, wash jars in a dishwater set to hot wash or wash them and place in a 225 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
Using tongs, pack bread and butter pickles into pint jars, then pour brine into jars to cover cucumbers. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace to ensure jars seal properly when processed.
Cap jars with sterile lids and bands. Tighten firmly, but take care not to overtighten.
Process jars for 15 minutes in boiling water bath to seal.
Remove jars from water bath and allow to rest at room temperature to cool. If the jars have sealed properly, a satisfying ping will be heard as the jars cool and a seal is established. Any jars that do not seal correctly should be stored in the refrigerator until used. Canned bread and butter pickles have a shelf life of at least 12 months when stored in a cool, dry location, but should be refrigerated once opened.
Originally: Easy Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe