Pear Piccalilli

Autumn Piccalilli - you will need

I have only just discovered Piccalilli! At least, I always knew what it was, but only recently found out that I love it, having been served a home-made version as part of a pub lunch - it was absolutely delicious, and I decided there and then that I wanted to try and make my own. Piccalilli is a pickle made from chopped vegetables, mustard, and hot spices. Having had a look at a few recipes, I have taken the bits I like from each to come up with this version. If you would like to check out the original recipes they are all pinned on my Homemade Presents and Preserves board on Pinterest.

It is a fairly long list of ingredients, but you really can use whatever vegetables that take your fancy - just keep the proportions of sauce to vegetables roughly similar. This is a large batch recipe, but it could easily be halved.

We used...

1 large cauliflower broken into small florets
800g pears cored and diced
600g courgettes diced
1 medium cucumber peeled and diced
200g green beans cut into 1 inch lengths
300g silverskin Onions (I used ones out of a jar)
100g salt
1500mls cider vinegar (I used 1200 + 300mls vinegar from the pickled silverskin onions)
1 inch square of fresh ginger (grated or
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
3tbsp black mustard seeds
300g golden castor sugar
100g cornflour
5 tbsp English mustard powder
3 tsp ground turmeric

Autumn Piccalilli - break up cauliflower

Autumn Piccalilli - prepare the veg

Autumn Piccalilli - leave in brine overnight

First we prepared all the vegetables, putting the roughly diced cauliflower and pears in one bowl, and the courgettes, cucumber and beans in another. We mixed the salt with about 3 litres of water, and covered both sets of vegetables with the salt water, using a plate to keep the vegetables submerged. We then covered with cling film, and set aside overnight.

Autumn Piccalilli - blitz garlic and ginger in a little vinegar

Autumn Piccalilli - place pears and cauliflower in pan

Autumn Piccalilli - add vinegar and spices

The next morning, we drained the vegetables, rinsed them under the tap, and placed the cauliflower and pears in a large pan with the vinegar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and sugar. We also added the ginger and garlic which we had blitzed with a little of the vinegar in a blender. We bought the contents of the pan to a boil and allowed to simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the cucumber, courgettes and beans. Allow to simmer for another minute, check the vegetables are cooked to your liking (bearing in mind you want them to have a nice crunchy bite) and then drain them, reserving the cooking liquid.

Autumn Piccalilli - strain and reserve vinegar

Autumn Piccalilli - mix flour, mustard powder and tumeric

Autumn Piccalilli - add vinegar to flour and whisk

Mix the cornflour, mustard powder and turmeric in a bowl, then whisk in the hot vinegar, making a thin yellow sauce. Return to a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously until it has thickened - it should be thick enough to coat the back on the wooden spoon!

Autumn Piccalilli - cook mustard sauce

Autumn Piccalilli - mix in onions

Autumn Piccalilli - mix in sauce

Add the onions to the rest of the vegetables, and mix in the sauce. If you decide to use fresh onions instead of pickled, I would treat them in the same way as the cauliflower and pears. Spoon into clean, dry, hot jars that have been sterilised in a warm oven. I ended up with about 3200mls of pickle - 15 jars worth, so plenty to give away over Christmas! Like all pickles and chutney, this will mature and mellow over time, so will benefit for being kept for a month before opening.

Autumn Piccalilli - spoon into sterilised jars

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  • Reply janice Wald

    I love pears!
    Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit Stop!
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew
    janice Wald recently posted…How to Easily Find Time for Stress-Free BloggingMy Profile

    January 13, 2016 at 12:53 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I love pears too, think they sometimes get overlooked for recipes. Thanks for taking the time to visit us Janice,and for having us on Blogger’s Pit Stop :)

      January 14, 2016 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Just Plain Marie

    I’ve never made piccalilli, although I knew what it was. My stepfather is British – I should put this on my recipe list to make this year for gifts. I’m sure he’d enjoy a jar.

    Thank you so much for sharing it at The Blogger’s Pit Stop!
    – Marie, Blogger’s Pit Stop crew
    Just Plain Marie recently posted…9 Ways Plain Mennonites Save MoneyMy Profile

    January 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It was really well received by our friends and family (and postman) this year. I was actually quite surprised by the number of people who said ‘Oh I love piccalilli’ when I gave it to them! I used to nurse a man who would always talk about runner bean pickle which I think is in a similar sauce, so I might try that in the summer. Thanks for popping by – I’m a huge fan of your blog :)

      January 8, 2016 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Jenny Eaves

    This looks amazingly delicious and a perfect gift! I need to get making this sort of thing next year, hoping to have a more handmade Christmas.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #HowtoSunday :) x
    Jenny Eaves recently posted…Our Christmas TraditionsMy Profile

    December 16, 2015 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I find recipes like this where you start one day and then finish the second work work well for me. I’ve got a few preserve recipes that work in the same way – makes them much easier to find the time for x

      December 17, 2015 at 11:36 pm
  • Reply Charlotte Oates

    Picalilli is one the those things I’ve heard of before but never actually tried. I love pickles, especially at Christmas, so I’ll definitely have to give it a try.

    Thanks for joining #FoodYearLinkup I hope to see you there again soon xx
    Charlotte Oates recently posted…A Day at the Cake & Bake Show – ManchesterMy Profile

    December 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I always had the idea I hated it, but am totally converted since trying it in a pub. Will definitely make it every year from now on – it was a lot easier preparation wise compared to a lot of pickles and chutneys I’ve made in the past. Hopefully it’ll go down well as Christmas :)

      December 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm
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