Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The best Piccalilli recipe ever

Piccalilli is one of our favourite preserves. Each year, towards the end of the season, there are green vegetables and green unripe tomatoes aplenty so piccalilli is an excellent way of making use of these. This particular recipe has been handed down in our family for the past four generations. Originally from my maternal Great Grandmother Mabel Lund, I have strong memories of this pickle being brought out around Christmas time for Boxing day tea, served with cold meats and cheese.

Autumn Crocus now in full bloom
As with most pickles, it is best made and left to mature for a couple of months before using. This recipe will make about 12 jam jars which is not really a lot if you are a piccalilli addict like me. Double up if necessary... Note: this recipe is in imperial measurement as it always has been... You metric bods will have to do the sums.


2 cauliflowers
1 cucumber
2 lb of shallots or onion
2 lb of green tomatoes
1 head of celery

About 6 lb of vegetable in total. Chop all the vegetables into small pieces. The cauliflower should be broken into small sized florets and if small enough, the shallots left whole. Soak overnight in a brine solution made with 8 pints of water and 1/2 lb of salt.

The following day, drain and rinse well, leave to drain whilst you make the sauce.

4 oz of mustard powder
1/2 oz of Turmeric
1 lb sugar (can be reduced if necessary)
2 1/2 pints of vinegar
1 cup of plain flour

Make a sauce with all the ingredients, thicken with the flour and gently bring to the boil to cook out the flour. Be careful not to burn the sauce, stir constantly. Add the dry vegetables and bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat. Cover and leave to cool. Bottle and seal in sterilised jars the following day and label. Hide from everyone except your best friends....

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