English mustard pickle (Piccalilli)

I first made this recipe last year, I made a batch to give away as Christmas presents.  They went down a treat and now I’ve been asked to make some more.  This is the perfect Christmas treat to accompany pork pies, sausage rolls and cold meats.  The recipe is taken from Delia’s Christmas.

You will need;

250g cauliflower, divided into 2.5cm florets

175g small onions, quartered and cut across

200g cucmber, peeled, quartered lengthways and cut into 5mm slices

175g dwarf beans, cut into 2.5cm lengths

475ml malt vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons extra

¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

¼ teaspoon powdered allspice

75g caster sugar

1 clove garlic, crushed with ½ teaspoon salt

20g English mustard powder

10g turmeric

1 rounded tablespoon plain flour

First place the cauliflower florets, onions and 475ml vinegar together in a large saucepan, add the nutmeg and allspice and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 8 minutes.

Now take the lid off and stir in the cucumber, beans, sugar and garlic.  Bring the mixture up to simmering point again and cook for a further 5 minutes uncovered.  The vegetables should still all be slightly crisp – so don’t go away and forget about them.

Now get a large colander over a large bowl and pour the contents of the saucepan into it and leave it all to drain (reserving the vinegar).  Then mix the mustard powder, turmeric and flour together in a bowl.  Gradually work in 2 additional tablespoons of vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons of water so that the mixture becomes a fairly loose paste.

Next add a ladleful of the hot vinegar, drained from the vegetables, and transfer the blend to the saucepan.  Bring to the boil, whisking with a balloon whisk, and gradually adding the remaining hot vinegar.  Boil gently for 5 minutes, then transfer the vegetables, from the colander to the large bowl, and pour over the sauce.

Stir well to mix, then spoon the piccalilli into warm sterilised jars with tight lids.  Keep for 2 months in a cool dark place before eating.


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