Piccalilli

I made a big batch of piccalilli last week as I had a glut of courgettes from the back garden and the allotment. This year we have grown (that is my husband, sister in law and I, who share the gardening ) a different shape of courgette. It is an Italian variety and round. It is popular in Italy because it is a good shape for stuffing. It is supposed to be picked when it is the size of a hand grenade, but some of ours were more like small footballs. I also used our own green beans, but bought pickling onions and a cauliflour from my local farm shop.
I made 12 jars altogether, various sized jars, which I save and re-use to keep costs down. The kilner jar in the photo was a gift with clementines in white wine from last christmas The recipe is from Farmhouse Kitchen which was a yorkshire TV series in the 70’s which brought out 3 books to go with the series. There are 2 versions of piccalilli in the book, sharp hot piccalilli and sweet mild piccalilli. I did a middle version, so here goes:- (By the way, it takes 2 days day one to prep and soak veg and day two to finish off.)

6lb of prepared vegetables. A mixture of diced cucumber, marrow or courgette, green beans, small onions,and cauliflour cut into even size pieces. I did:-

1lb 12oz pickling onions quartered as they were quite big.
2lb of courgette, and cucumber (the cucumber de-seeded)
1lb cauliflower pulled into small florets
12oz green beans

Soak the veg in 1 lb cooking salt dissolved an 8 pints of water and leave for 24 hours.

Day 2
Drain and rinse the vegetables really well or your pickle will taste salty. I think I forgot that one time and the result was inedible.

Spices
1 oz dry english mustard ( I used colman’s, it comes in a yellow square tin)
3/4 oz ground ginger
8 oz white granulated sugar
3 pints of white distilled vinegar
1 and 1/2 oz of cornflour
1/2 oz of turmeric

Stir mustard, ginger and turmeric into most of the vinegar and then add the prepared vegetables and simmer until texture is as liked, either crisp or tender but not hard or mushy. I cooked mine for about 8 mins. Then blend the cornflour and turmeric with the rest of the vinegar and add to the other ingredients in the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring carefully and boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour into hot dry sterilised jars that have vinegar proof lids. Place on waxed disc while still hot. Store in a cool dark place for 3 months to allow the pickle to mature before eating.

Tips.
Use a stainless steel pan. Brass copper or aluminium are not stable when heated with vinegar and can leak into the finished product.
Sterilise jars by washing in warm soapy water, rinsing well and putting along with lids in a low oven about gas mark 2 or 150oc for at least 20 minutes. I leave them in the oven until I am ready to use them.

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