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A friend recently gave me a delicious jar of bread and butter cucumbers, so delicious I asked for the recipe. We always, annually make the late Bessie Mortimer’s Bread and Butter Cucumbers and it was interesting to note that the ingredients and quantities were almost identical with the exception of the turmeric and chilli, but the method was different. In the end a little from both recipes was used and worked very well.
The quality, size and freshness of the cucumbers really makes a difference to the end product and if you are lucky enough to grow them pick them small. Don’t make them if you can’t get really good quality very firm Lebanese cucumbers. Stephanie’s sister recommends only making in small batches, but since I had already found excellent cucumbers very late in the season and purchased 3kg I felt compelled to make a large batch and was not disappointed with the result. Despite the result being good, I can tell by looking at the cucumbers that they are last season because of the size of the seed area.
Although, after three years of retirement, I have managed to stop myself from making multiple crates of preserves I find that the bread and butter cucumbers are universally popular, and they still seem to run out.
posted June 14, 20
9 – 10 x 450g jars or
19 – 20 x 200g jars
3kg very firm fresh Lebanese cucumbers, sliced with skin on no more than 2 mm thick
600g p/w finely sliced white onion
375g filtered water
270g sea salt
1500g Vine Valley white vinegar
1500g white sugar
60g mustard seeds
3g dried chilli flakes
½ a large bunch of soil grown dill, thick stalks removed and chopped
In a large bowl with a lid mix together the cucumbers and onion. Weigh the water into a saucepan, then weigh in the salt. Place on high heat and stir until the salt is dissolved, then pour over the cucumbers. Mix through, weight down, cover and rest in a cool place for three hours.
Tip into a colander and using a saucepan lid [we have found that a purposed lid that fits snugly in a colander that will give you about 5 cm of press before it jams in the colander is much more effective than a plate.] Squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible.
Start getting you jars and bottling equipment sterilised. 
Weigh the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and mustard seeds into a large stainless steel saucepan and place it on high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to the boil. Add the drained cucumber/onion mix.
Stirring over constantly bring to the boil and immediately and turn the heat off. Bottle while still hot and seal with the lids.
Do not…put your hands in the sterilised jars or the insides of the lids and use the sterilised tongs and jam funnel.
Properly and safely bottled they do not require refrigeration until they are opened.
Store in a cool dark place…refrigerate after opening. We never ditch the pickling liquid and use it for all sorts of things from salads, adding depth to meat and fish sauces, to flavouring mayonnaise.
winter food...pie fillings
Sterilising Jars Wash the jars and make sure there is no soap remaining. Put about 1cm of water in each of the jars and splash the outsides with water. Put them in a microwave and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Put the jam funnel, tongs, ladle and lids into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Place them on high heat and bring to the boil…boil for 2 – 3 minutes.
For more about sterilising read our Preserving Bible