Sweet Piccalilli is undoubtedly one of the most popular relishes of the summer months – piccalilli can be eaten with BBQ’d grilled meats such as sausages or chops, or with cold meats and a cheese salad. A great Piccalilli should contain a good selection of fresh crunchy vegetables in a smooth, vinegar-mustard sauce.
Sweet Piccalilli Recipe
Makes about 1.8 Kg of piccalilli to pot. Leave to mature for at least 1 month
- 1 large cauliflower
- 450g pickling (pearl) onions
- 300g marrow
- 300g cucumber
- 300g green beans
- 225g sea-salt
- 2.4 litres cold water
- 200g granulated sugar
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 litre distilled (white) vinegar
- 25g plain flour
- 1 tbsp turmeric
Prepare the vegetables: Divide the cauliflower into small florets – peel and quarter the pickling onions – de-seed and finely dice the marrow and cucumber – top and tail the French beans, then cut them into 2.5cm lengths.
Layer the vegetables in a large bowl – sprinkling each layer with plenty of sea-salt. Pour over the water and then cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to soak for 24 hours.
Drain the soaked vegetables, and discard the brine. Rinse everything well in several changes of cold water to remove as much salt as possible, then drain them thoroughly before going on to the next stage.
Put the sugar, crushed garlic, mustard powder, ground ginger and 900ml of the vinegar in a preserving pan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the drained vegetables to the pan, bring this up to the boil (skim off any impurities) reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender.
Mix the flour and turmeric with 100ml of white vinegar and stir this into the piccalilli – bring it back up to the boil, stirring, and simmer for 5 minutes, until the piccalilli has thickened.
Transfer the relish to warm, sterilized jars. To pot the relish: it is best to use a wide-necked jam funnel to transfer the relish into the sterilized jars. Use a long-handled teaspoon (or similar) to press and poke the relish right down into the pots to exclude any trapped air pockets. Press wax discs on the surface of the relish before sealing the jar. Wipe the jars immediately, then label them when they are cold.
To Store: store in a cool, dark place and leave to mature for at least 1 month. The relish will keep unopened for up to 1 year. Once the jars have been opened, store them in the refrigerator.
– Use dry, sterilized preserving pots or jars to store your preserve in. Always sterilize all the jars and lids etc, run them through a dishwasher on a hot rinse setting, or wash, rinse and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Be careful if using rubber seals etc., do them separately. Sterilized storage equipment means you can keep your preserve for well over six months when made. –