I have been cooking all my jams and chutneys in my slow cooker as it’s more convenient for me and because I got no where to store a preserving pan.But last week I made some Piccalilli which improves in flavour the longer it is left.So I can’t even think about eating mine until October as it ideally should be open after 6 weeks.I love Piccalili and so do lots of relatives so it’s going in their Christmas hamper this year along with jams, chutneys, flavoured oils and small hand made gifts.However, Piccalli requires very little cooking as the process involves what is called ‘dry brining’.
1kg washed, peeled vegetables (6 from the following list)
- Cauliflower, Romensco or purple
- green beans
- green or yellow tomatoes
- small silver skinned onions or shallots
- nasturtium seed pods
50g fine salt
10g English mustard
10g ground turmeric
15g yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
600ml cider vinegar
150g granulated sugar
1. Make sure the vegetables are fresh, ideally unripe and not bruised as this will further deteriation and preservation life will be shorten.Cut into small pieces and place in large bowl and sprinkle with salt.Mix well, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain throughly.
2. Mix the cornflour,turmeric,mustard powder,mustard seeds,cumin and coriander and add a little of the vinegar.Put the rest of the vinegar in with the honey and sugar and bring to the boil.
3. Add a little of the hot vinegar into the paste and stir well and put back into the pan.Bring the mixture gently to the boil.Let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
4. Once thickened remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the vegetables into the spicy sauce.Pack the piccalilli into warm, sterilised jars and seal straight away.This pickle improves with age so best left for 6 weeks before eating.Make sure you eat within a year.