A few weeks ago I wrote this post on making Lemon Cucumber pickles. Since then, I've had several requests for a good canning recipe to use the bounty of lemon cucumbers that people have coming from their gardens. The main difference between this recipe and the one I gave on the first lemon cucumber post is this one will follow a specific recipe, to ensure safe canning methods. The previous one was a non-canning recipe, more for just enjoying the first cucumbers of the season; easy and delicious to eat right away with your summer meals. Although I didn't add spices to that first recipe, you can add your favorite spices to taste.
This recipe is a delicious bread-and-butter pickle recipe and using the lemon cucumbers work great, because they are firm enough (the key is to pick them and use them immediately, don't wait several days, as they will start to get softer and not be as firm when made into pickles) and have a nice sweet (non-bitter) taste.
I picked our cucumbers and within the hour began the pickle making process. There are two types of cucumbers pictured below; the long, green ones are Armenian Cucumbers and the smaller, round, yellowish ones are the Lemon Cucumbers.
The following is a "fresh pack or quick process pickle" recipe, meaning the pickles are covered with boiling hot vinegar, spices and seasonings. I am including extra notes in this post, if you are canning for the first time or if it's been awhile since you last canned. Please click on the links for more specific and helpful information. For any other canning questions always check this website for up-to-date and accurate information.
Bread-and-Butter Pickle Slices
From So Easy to Preserve, pgs. 125-126
Yields = 7-8 pints
6 pounds of 4 to 5-inch pickling cucumbers *I used mostly lemon cucumbers and one large Armenian cucumber.
8 cups thinly sliced onions /about 3 pounds *I used a mixture of walla walla onions and yellow onions
1/2 cup canning salt *It's very important to use "canning" or "pickling" salt, rather than table salt. Other salts contain anti-caking materials and this can make the brine or liquid cloudy.
Crushed or cubed ice
4 cups vinegar (5%) *Use vinegar of 5-percent acidity. Do not use homemade vinegar or vinegar that you don't know the acidity of in pickling. Also, do not dilute the vinegar, because you will be diluting the preservative effect.
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1) Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/6-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch rings.
2) Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add canning salt.
1) Add sugar and remaining ingredients to vinegar in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes.
2) Add well drained cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling.
4) Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath. After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks before use to develop ideal flavor.
*Remember after removing jars from Boiling Water Bath, they should remain undisturbed for 12 hours before moving them to storage.