- Author: Vivian Patterson
I love Bread & Butter Pickles! One of the things I love best about them are the onions. We have just harvested our onions but don't have our cucumbers yet. I decided to make a version with just onions.
Step by Step Preparation for Bread & Butter Style Pickled Onions
Adapted from Ball's "Red Onions in Vinegar" recipe.
2½ - 3 pounds Onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup Kosher Salt
½ gallon cool water
- Weigh, peel and slice the onions.
- Cover the onions with a brine of the Kosher Salt dissolved into the ½ gallon cool water. Crack a tray of ice over the top and set aside for 2 hours. Stir from time to time, turning over the layers.
- Make the Vinegar syrup: Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.
½ cup Water
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. celery seeds
½ tsp. coriander seeds
1 ½ tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 small fresh or dried red chiles, diced
- Prepare jars, lids and rings.
- Drain the brined onions and rinse them with fresh water. Bring the vinegar syrup back to a boil, add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, divide the onions among the prepared pint jars, then ladle the syrup into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal, and process in a water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes (sea level.)
Altitude Adjustment—Increase Processing Time:
1,001 – 3,000 feet: Increase by 5 minutes
3,001 – 6000 feet: Increase by 10 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 feet: Increase by 15 minutes
Over 8,001 feet: Increase by 20 minutes
- Check that jars have sealed then clean jars, label, and prepare for storage.
Notes about this recipe:
I sliced 3 lbs. onions, but I only used about 2½ lbs.
Yield: 3 pints.
Although this recipe used spices from a recipe in Saving the Season by Kevin West to obtain the bread and butter pickle flavor, it is essentially the same as the "Red Onions in Vinegar" tested recipe in Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving with safe additions of salt (as brine), sugar and spices, but substituting 5% apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar. Not all substitutions are safe to can. If you don't know what can be done, contact the helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just refrigerate your custom creation instead of canning it. More information about canning pickles as well as good recipes is available at this site.
Editors note: The Master Food Preservers have a demonstration plot at the Bishop Community Garden. They use the produce from that garden to share safe food preservation practices. As many readers of this blog may have onions ready in your garden, this may be of interest to you. If you have questions about home food preservation, please send your questions to the helpline: email@example.com. To learn more about raising onions in the Eastern Sierra this this fact sheet: https://ucanr.edu/sites/