I have only just discovered Piccalilli. At least, I always knew what it was, but only recently found out that I love it. I was served a home-made version as part of a pub lunch and it was absolutely delicious. I decided there and then that I had to make my own.
Piccalilli is a pickle made from chopped vegetables, mustard, and hot spices. I have taken the bits I like from a few recipes 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.
What You Need To Make Delicious Pear Piccalilli
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)
1500mls cider vinegar (I used 1200 + 300mls vinegar from the pickled silverskin onions)
1 inch square of fresh ginger (grated or blitzed)
2-3 cloves garlic (grated or blitzed)
2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
3tbsp black mustard seeds
300g golden castor sugar
5 tbsp English mustard powder
3 tsp ground turmeric
How to Make Delicious Pear Piccalilli
First prepare all the vegetables, putting the roughly diced cauliflower and pears in one bowl, and the courgettes, cucumber and beans in another. Mix the salt with about 3 litres of water, and cover both sets of vegetables with the salt water, using a plate to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with cling film, and set aside overnight.
The next morning, drain the vegetables, rinse them under the tap, and place the cauliflower and pears in a large pan with the vinegar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and sugar. Add the ginger and garlic. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil and allow 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.
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!
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, pear piccalilli will mature and mellow over time, so benefits from being kept for a month before opening.