Crunchy, Sweet, and Tangy Bread and Butter Pickles
I love bread and butter pickles. That sweet tangy crunch layered into burgers, diced in tunafish sandwiches, or just grabbed straight out of the jar and snacked on. As a kid it was the only pickled thing I really liked. Dill pickles, pickled onions, pickled beets, etc… Ick. Or at least that’s what my palate at a minion’s age thought. Since then I’ve come to love and appreciate nearly every kind of pickled delight, especially after spending over 2 decades eating Vietnamese food. It seems like the Vietnamese pickle just about anything and Diane’s mom and, of course Diane, are seriously good at it. Her pickled, slightly spicy & crunchy baby white eggplant is a thing of wonder and pure deliciousness. But my first and true pickle love is still the bread and butter pickle.
Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Of course not all bread and butter pickles are the same. Most all have a good flavor, some just varying in sweetness or maybe given a spicy kick. But the real test for me is the crunch. The make-or-break factor for my favorite pickles is all about a great crunch.
Out of the commercially-made pickles I love Bubbies the most. Their Bread and Butter Chips are always a staple in our fridge. I want to love so many of the different artisan or homemade pickles I’ve tried from other brands, but so many times they have a lifeless texture. Where’s the coveted crunch? Maybe I just haven’t found the right one other than Bubbies.
Watch quick video we made for these Bread and Butter Pickles!
Over the years we’d finally gotten our garden cucumbers to their happy place and can get quite the harvest. Usually growing either Persian cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers (unless the starters at the nursery have been mislabeled – had that happen more than once). The Persian and Japanese cucumbers have such a great crunch, even if we lag a little in picking them from the vines to make these bread and butter pickles.
However I’d been a bit hesitant about making pickles out of them. What if I was horrible at pickling them and they have that lifeless softness? It would be such a waste. How do you keep that crunch when you pickle them?
So one summer I was determined to figure it out. After consulting the pickle masters (Diane and her mom, of course- their pickled stuff is the crunchiest), I had a plan of action. Salt it and let it sit for an hour or two. Rinse, pat dry, and then let it sit out overnight to dry out a bit more. Then finish with the pickling brine and jar ’em up.
I’m happy to report that the pickles are awesome. Great crunch, great flavor. I might not be buying any Bubbies for quite some time. Sorry Bubbies.
Here’s a great and unique cucumber recipe .
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
- 3 pounds crisp cucumbers , sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
Place the cucumbers and onions in a colander resting in a large bowl or in the sink. Toss with the salt and let stand for 1-2 hours (the cucumbers will release a lot of water during salting).
Rinse the cucumbers and onions and then place in a single layer on a couple of sheet pans lined with paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and let dry overnight.
The next day, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil.
Fill your sterilized canning jars with the cucumbers and onions, leaving about 1/2-inch space from the top of the jars. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions to fill the jars. Seal the jars according to manufacturer's instructions.
Store in the refrigerator and allow to sit for several days before opening to allow the flavors to fully develop. Best served chilled.
Post was originally published in 2014. Re-published in 2019 with new updates.