To take my mind off a busy time at the moment, there is nothing nicer then spending an afternoon making a pickle or chutney, especially on a cold, autumnal day.
I absolutely love Piccalilli, and to be honest a good quality bought variety is still delicious, especially for sandwiches! But if you take the time to make it yourself, you will have a treat for Christmas time when there is no better accompaniments than a honey roasted ham, cold turkey or a home-made pork pie (thanks dad).
Honestly, have a go. Once you realise how easy and cheap it is to make your own pickles and chutneys you won’t stop. Collecting jars is also a good idea, so you don’t have to buy a load when needed.
(Makes 8-10 jars depending on jar size)
450g pickling onions or shallots, peeled
1 medium cauliflower, cut into little florets
1 cucumber, de-seeded with a teaspoon and cut into half moons
450g Green beans, topped, tailed and cut into 2cm lengths
350g coarse rock salt
1 litre white malt vinegar or pickling vinegar
1 1/2tbsp English mustard powder
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, mines
200g light muscovado sugar
3 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
Start by prepping your vegetables as to the descriptions in the ingredients list. Put the vegetables into a very large bowl and sprinkle over the salt. Mix well, cover with cling film and leave for at least 12 hours or over night.
The next day, fill the bowl with the vegetables in with water, mix well and drain. Repeat this process 3 -4 times to remove all the salt.
Next, prepare your jars. We need to make the jars sterile and the best way to do this is to wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water, put onto a baking tray and put into a pre-heated oven at 130oC for 10 minutes, until they are dry and hot.
Put the vinegar into a large saucepan along with all the spices and the garlic. Bring to a simmer and then add in the vegetables.
Let this simmer for 15 minutes, until the veg is tender – especially the onions and cauliflower. They should already be slightly soft as a lot of the water has been removed by the salt.
Once tender, add in the sugar, stir well, then add in the cornflour slurry, again stirring well. bring to a boil and it should turn thick, glossy and be a lovely mustard yellow colour.
Spoon the pickle into all of your sterilised jars whilst hot, wiping up the sides if spilt, then put the lid on. This will create a seal and will preserve.
Store the pickle for up to 4 weeks before opening. Once opened, keep in the fridge.