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How To Make A Very Easy Sweet Piccalilli Recipe

Updated on May 9, 2015

How Good Is This Sweet Piccalilli

5 stars from 2 ratings of Sweet Piccalilli

Sweet Piccalilli Recipe In Five Easy Steps

This deliciously sweet, slightly hot and spicy pickle is perfect served with cold meats, pies and savoury pastries.

The best time to make it is in the autumn, when there is a glut of runner or string beans and courgettes (zucchini), and is even better when you have been gifted these vegetables by a friend or neighbour.

The pickle takes three months to mature, so September is a great time to start piccalilli off, so that you have the pleasure of opening a jar of this gloriously sunny yellow pickle to have at Christmas.

The only problem with pickling is resisting the temptation to open a jar early, but it’s worth the wait.

Easy Sweet Piccalilli

The finished pckle
The finished pckle | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 5 Lbs of pickle

Equipment List

A large, preferably heavy bottomed pan, big enough to hold five litres (10) pints of liquid.

5 x 1lb jars, sterilised and with plastic or glass lids.

A jam funnel.

A colander

Two large mixing bowls

A jam funnel is a really useful piece of equipment for all preserve making. It has a wide neck and a very short spout, to make sure that you get every last drop of pickle or jam into the jar rather than down the sides. They are inexpensive to buy and well worth the small layout.

Vegetable Ingredients

1 1lb (450g) runner or string beans cut into 1” (2.5cm pieces)

2 medium cauliflower heads cut into 1” (2.5cm) dice

9 oz (250g) courgette (zucchini) cut into 1” (2.5cm pieces) I like a mix of yellow and green

1 medium onion roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed and blended with 3 tsp salt in a pestle and mortar

Wet Ingredients

2 pints (1.2L) malt (brown) vinegar

5 tbsps white balsamic vinegar

3 tbsps water

Dry Ingredients

2oz (505) mustard powder

1oz (25g) turmeric

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

3 tbsps cornflour (sauce flour)

12oz (330g) caster sugar

Sweet Piccalilli Vegetables

Chopped vegetables ready for pickling.
Chopped vegetables ready for pickling. | Source

First Step For Sweet Pickle

  1. Place the cauliflower and vinegar into a pan and bring to simmering point, Simmer for five minutes.
  2. The timing is crucial for the vegetable cooking part of this recipe, so set a timer; otherwise your veggies will turn to mush in the pickle.

Second Step For Sweet Piccalilli

Add the beans, onion, crushed garlic and courgette.

Bring back to simmering point.

Simmer for eight minutes.

Remove from the heat.

Strain the vegetables through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid in a bowl.

Sauce For Picalilli

Sauce ingredients ready to go
Sauce ingredients ready to go | Source

Third Step

Place all of the dry ingredients in one of the mixing bowls.

Add the 5 tbsbs of balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsps water.

Add one ladle or large spoonful of the cooking liquid.

Use a balloon whisk and blend to a smooth paste.

Add another 2-3 ladles of cooking liquid one at a time and blend with the whisk.

Pour your paste and the cooking liquid back into the pan.

Bring to the boil and keep whisking.

Boil for five minutes – keep whisking

Fourth Step

Once your sauce is thickened, remove from the heat.

Add the cooked vegetables to the sauce and stir gently to coat them with the lovely golden liquid.

Don’t be tempted to taste your piccalilli at this stage, it will be rough, and will make you cough!

Pour into your warmed, sterilised jars.

Put the lids on and wipe off any spills from the outside of the jar.

When cold, label and put fancy cloth covers on the lids if you wish.

Fifth Step

Wait three months........

Then enjoy.

Try this with cold turkey, cooked meats, pies, savoury pastries, a gorgeous hunk of cheese and freshly baked bread.......whatever takes your fancy.

How To Sterilise Jars For Jam, Jelly Or Pickles

It is important to sterilise jars to prevent yeasts, moulds, or harmful bacteria from contaminating jams, jellies and pickles, but fortunately sterilising jars is a lot easier than it sounds.

It is important to use either plastic or glass lids when pickling, as vinegar corrodes metal, but many purpose made pickling jars now have metal lids that are coated with plastic inside, and these would be OK to use.

First wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water, or run them through the dishwasher. Place them, jars upright on a tray and out them in a cool oven, 50-80 degrees C, or the lowest your oven will go, for at least five minutes. I tend to start cooking my jam or pickle, then pop my jars in the oven and leave them there until I’m ready to pour the mixture into them.


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    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      4 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks poetryman!

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      4 years ago

      Love the ingredients. Would not mind trying this.


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