Bread & Butter Pickles


Remember Aunt Jeannie? She’s my sweet great auntie that did her best to consolidate all of Grandma Dorothy’s recipe cards into one, online document before my grandma passed away. Well, once again, I find myself feeling so grateful for this very special recipe file that continues to connect me to both my auntie and my grandma.

I can vividly picture Grandma Dorothy in her pink, polyester Bermuda shorts outfit – her hair tied up in a scarf – picking gallons of cucumbers from her backyard garden in Ozark, Alabama. I’d sit on a chair in the kitchen watching her clean, chop, season, cook, ladle, top, process and cool batches and batches of the most wonderful Bread & Butter Pickles.  She’d tell me stories, and hum a little, but she never got flustered or looked overwhelmed by the process. Nor, did she write it down. That was just what she did.

So, when I decided I wanted to make Bread & Butter Pickles to go along with our Harvest theme this month, I was glad I could rely on Mary and her mom, Helen, to fill in the blanks in Grandma Dorothy’s “recipe”. These pickles are sweet, and tangy, and a bit spicy. The onions are pickled, too, and they make this a wonderfully relish-like condiment. I couldn’t wait weeks on end to taste them, so I pulled a jar from the refrigerator last night and made a terrific Bread & Butter Pickle sandwich with tuna 😉  EnJOY!

Bread & Butter Pickles
Recipe Type: Canning
Author: A Passionate Plate
Serves: 6 (1/2 pint) jars
Make sure to follow the steps in order to make the process quick and easy.
  • 3 pounds cucumbers, sliced thin (this is very important!)
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced thin (again, important!)
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. pickling spice
  • 2 serrano peppers, pricked with a toothpick
  • 2 red jalapeños, sliced thin
  1. Put the cucumbers in a big bowl and pour the pickling salt over them. Cover with 3 cups of ice and set aside for about 4 hours to make its own brine. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Put the jars into the dishwasher on a rinse cycle and put the lids into simmering water so that they are clean and hot when you start filling the jars.
  3. Fill a stockpot or canner with enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches and bring the water to a boil.
  4. In a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot, bring cucumbers, onions, 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar, spices and serrano peppers to a boil. Boil 5 to 10 minutes after boiling starts.
  5. Place 3-5 rings of red jalapeno into the bottom of each jar.
  6. Carefully ladle the hot mixture into hot jars leaving 1/2-inch space on top.
  7. Wipe the rims and sides of jars before using tongs to top with a hot lid.
  8. Screw the lids on firmly and place jars into canner and boil for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove jars using tongs and place on a towel-lined jelly roll pan or countertop to cool.
  10. Over the next 12-24 hours you’ll hear a “ping” as the lids go concave signaling a secure seal. If the lids do not go concave, refrigerate the jar and use it first.
  11. Store securely sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

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  1. Helen says:

    Looking at your picture of these pickles on a tuna sandwich just makes my mouth water. Kicking it up a notch with the serrano and jalapeno peppers is a great idea. I can hardly wait to make a batch!

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