Heirloom Mustard Pickles
These are the kinds of pickles often seen on our grandparent’s tables. While the spices may change a little, the passion these pickles inspire remains consistent.
INGREDIENTS | MAKES 4 QUARTS
- 4 cups onions
- 4 cups cucumbers
- 4 cups small green tomatoes
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 2 sweet peppers
- 2 cups salt
- 1 gallon water pinch alum (optional)
- 4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons celery seed
- 2/3 cup mustard
- 4 ¼ cups vinegar
Cut vegetables into 1" pieces. Put in a large bowl; cover with water, salt, and alum.
Put a plate over top of vegetables so they stay below brine; leave at room temperature 24 hours.
The next day, warm entire mixture to scalding; remove from heat and drain vegetables. Immediately put into sterilized jars (if canning) or freezer-safe containers (if freezing).
Put remaining ingredients in a large pot; simmer until thickened. Pour sauce evenly over pickles. Make sure to get all the air bubbles out if canning. Leave ¼" headspace in the jars; process 10 minutes in a hot-water bath. If freezing, remember to leave extra space for freezer expansion.
Canned pickles have a shelf life of 1 year. Frozen pickles last 6–8 months.
Alum (potassium aluminum sulfate) has been used as a crisper for canned pickles for ages, but its popularity has waned recently. It gives some people indigestion and can irritate sulfate allergies. You may want to leave it out if you have any doubts over how it will affect your tummy or your dinner guests’.