Even though I still won’t eat sweet pickles to this day, I have learned to enjoy bread and butter pickles. Yes, they’re sweet, but they are also tangy and full of spice with just the right amount of onion. My bread and butter pickles even have a slight bit of heat for extra flavor, done just the way we Texans like our food. Not overly powerful, but not flavorless like my mother’s bread and butter pickles.
Interestingly, bread and butter pickles got their name during the Great Depression when meat was scarce or too expensive and so were used in their place. If you ask some they will say bread and butter pickles are great between two slices of bread with just a little bit of butter.
Spicy Texan Bread and Butter Pickles
10 cups sliced cucumbers (about 20 whole small)
6 onions, sliced
1/2 cup peeled and halved beets (optional)
2 T minced garlic
1/2 cup salt (use pickling salt if you prefer a cloudless end product)
3 cups apple cider vinegar (or 2 1/2 cups distilled white plus 1/2 cup red wine vinegars)
5 cups white sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 t coriander seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 t celery salt or celery seed
2 T mustard (I used spicy dijon)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Toss the first five ingredients together and allow to sit and drain in a colander for at least 3 hours, but preferably five at room temperature. This step allows the cucumbers to be at their crispiest after processing.
Blend the remaining ingredients together using a whisk in a large saucepot. Add the cucumber mixture and stir gently with a wooden or plastic spoon. Turn heat to medium high and allow to boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and immediately begin filling prepared jars.
Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner at less than 1000 ft above sea level leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust for your altitude. Allow pickles to sit for at least 24 hours before consuming.