making Pam Corbin’s River Cottage Preserves piccalilli

September 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm 35 comments

This is the second batch of piccalilli I’ve made in the last month from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook.  It’s a marvel to me how easy it is to make such a tongue tingling, deliciously crunchy preserve.  It’s the perfect way to use up gluts of green beans and courgettes and it’s slightly different every time depending on what veg you want to use up.  Piccalilli is certainly my new best friend for livening up my lunchtime!

what you need to make piccalilli
1kg washed/peeled crunchy veg
50g fine salt
30g cornflour
10g ground turmeric
10g English mustard powder
15g mustard seeds
1tsp crushed cumin seeds
1tsp crushed coriander seeds
600ml cider vinegar
150g granulated sugar
50g honey

  • Cut the vegetables into even bite sized pieces.  I used 1 small cauliflower (250g), 1 courgette (180g), 1 pepper (120g), dwarf beans (175g), carrots (175g), silverskin onions (50g), cucumber (50g).
  • Sprinkle with salt,  mix well, cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.  Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  • Blend spices and cornflour to a smooth pasted with some of the vinegar.  Put the rest of the vinegar, sugar and honey in a pan and bring to the boil.  Pour some of the hot vinegar over the spicy paste, stir well and return to the pan.  Bring gently to the boil for 3-4 minutes to thicken and flavour the sauce.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the vegetables into the hot, spicy sauce.  Pack the pickle into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately.
  • ‘Leave, if you can, for 4-6 weeks before opening’ says Pam Corbin.  ‘Eat anytime, any place, anywhere’ says Nic.

Entry filed under: in the kitchen.

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35 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Ooh thank you! That was kind of you, and now I confess, stupid as Robin knows I am, that I have Pam Corbin’s book and over the weekend when we were furiously making plum and apple mincemeat, pear and apple, cherry…. and have barely dented the fruit that we have picked – I found the picalliili recipe in there. But I love your pictures and I will show it to B, who is the picalilli fan and say there, see if you can make yours look as good as this! Do you know ajar pickle? Different flavours but the same bright yellow colouring? I used to make that one a fair bit. I’ll find the recipe if you like?

  • 2. Rachel @ Suburban Yogini  |  September 7, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Oooh this looks lovely. Will definitely be trying it. My nan used to make an awesome piccalilli

  • 3. Norm  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Good old Pam Corbin eh? That looks delicious!

  • 4. mangocheeks  |  September 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Looks so good. I like the addition of the courgettes.

  • 5. Anne Maundrell  |  September 8, 2010 at 2:15 am

    I haven’t made piccalilli for years but I love it and this looks like a great recipe. Maybe I should try it again if I can find some decent fresh ingredients here in Brunei.

  • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  September 8, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Joanna – a busy weekend of chopping and stirring for you then! I’d love your ajar pickle recipe – it’s a new one on me. Enjoy sampling B’s piccalilli, you won’t be disappointed.

    Rachel – all the best recipes are called ‘my nan’s recipe for…’
    Enjoy a little nostalgia as the vinegary vapours fill your kitchen :o)

    Norm – Pam rocks in preserve world, I don’t know what I do without her. Yes I do, wasting lots of lovely allotment veg

    MC – gotta love any recipe that depletes a courgette stash

    Anne – happy vegetable hunting. Check out Norm’s link above – she’s recently moved to Brunei and has been writing some great posts about the Asian cuisine she’s discovering

  • 7. Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers  |  September 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Another brilliant recipe. Such beautiful vibrant colours too! And I have so many bits of vegetables to use up too so this will be perfect.

    Have I mentioned how much I love River Cottage everything and think HFW is living my perfect life? Sigh.

    • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  September 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      I take no credit for the fab recipes I try out from the RC handbook. But I do love how sharing on blogs is so inspiring and it really makes me smile to think of you in your kitchen chopping and stirring too :o)
      One of these days I intend to head down to Cornwall for one of the River Cottage events. I’ve not seen any of the RC programmes on tv but Hugh’s got a new series starting in a couple of weeks making recipes from the RC Everyday cookbook. I’ve got the book on indefinite loan from the library so I’m sure to get an overdue letter soon! May be time to buy it …
      Until we get that perfect life, happy pickling x

  • 9. Ann  |  September 11, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I like your last paragraph!!! My recipe says to leave chutney for 2 – 3 MONTHS, I couldn’t wait with this latest lot I made though, ate some while it was still warm!

    • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      some people lick the spoon after making cakes and some people lick the spoon after making piccalilli and then go back for more! We’re obviously made of the same stuff Ann ;o) (although I confess to spoon licking activity for most things!)

  • 11. Choclette  |  September 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Oh Nic, you are a marvel. I always forget about piccalilli and you’re right it’s so good AND I’ve still loads of courgettes to use and beans sadly no carrots or cauliflower though.

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  September 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      I’ve really gotten into eating cauliflower raw this year but would happily make it again with just the ingredients you have. Mine was a mix of allotment grown and shop bought.

  • 13. Rufus  |  September 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Nic, you are very inventive with your ingredients but piccallilly? Oh dear me no. I’ll bypass that one

    • 14. Nip it in the bud  |  September 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      I know you’re not a pickle man and I’ve always said you can’t trust a man who doesn’t like ketchup {wink}. I admire how you can live without pickles to brighten up your ploughmans but I could never do it! I’ll save you some cake instead x

  • 15. Choclette  |  September 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Just made this today and it is delicious – thanks for the idea.

  • 16. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  September 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    We’ve made loads now! Thanks again!

    I made a second batch with fresh ginger and lemongrass paste and garlic and a little cayenne instead of the mustard. I”m not sure I got the proportions right but it certainly packs a punch. I was trying to be clever and make a version of ajar khuning which you could store… time will tell if it worked or not. I’ll leave it a month and then open the jar…

  • 17. Nip it in the bud  |  September 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Choc and Joanna – a pleasure. My huge stock pile of piccalilli has taken a bit of a beating this week – it seems everyone who visits professes to love it but never buy it. I made a new batch as a ‘branston pickle’ look a like. Tastes nice but looks more like veg in gravy as I didn’t have any browning to make it a nice rich brown.

    Joanna – sounds delish. I’m sure it will be fine and if not it will add a nice kick used up in warming soups through the autumn

  • 18. Piccalilli |  |  October 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    […] This entry was posted in recipes. Bookmark the permalink. ← Chard Pesto […]

  • 19. Carl  |  October 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I made a batch on Monday, and now its in the fridge in jars, however it appears that the vinegar has seperated from the yellowy sauce around air bubbles in the jar….will this be ok?

  • 20. Nip it in the bud  |  October 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

    hmm, I’m not sure what to make of the vinegar and sauce separating Carl. When making preserves it’s best to give the contents of the jar a good poke with a fork to remove the air bubbles. Sometimes it can cause the contents to ferment but to be honest I think this is more likely caused by jars not being sterilised properly. If the air pockets have not moved and you have a good vacuum seal on your jars it should be fine. If they’ve moved or there are more than when you first jarred them up then something is amiss. If in doubt I’d be inclined to empty them out and reboil.

    • 21. Carl  |  October 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      thanks, i’ll give a re-boil a try.

  • 22. Choclette  |  November 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Have just cracked open the first proper jar of this and it really is so good – just wish I’d made more now. Thanks for the recipe.

  • 23. Nip it in the bud  |  November 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    it’s so easy to rustle up and good for using up oddments of veg before they get too limp. I’m down to my last jar too having heralded it’s virtues to visitors a little too well!

  • 24. Jody  |  November 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi. Love the look of this recipe. How long will it keep for?

  • 25. Nip it in the bud  |  November 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Jody, provided a vacuum seal is created when jarring up they’ll keep for ages and ages. Most chutneys/pickles say use within a year but in my experience they just get better and better. The great thing about this recipe is that you can eat it straight away as well. Winner!

  • 26. Joe Sharpe  |  July 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Hello, I made a batch yesterday and as soon as the hot mixture went into the jar, quite a bit of condensation formed around the lid and sides. It isn’t completely jammed full, should I repack in a smaller jar? Reboil? Or will it be OK?

  • 27. Nip it in the bud  |  July 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Joe. Condensation like that (on the inside I take it) sounds like the jar wasn’t hot enough when the hot mixture went in. Bubbles of any kind are potential mould hot spots so I would say yes reboil contents and pack into a smalller sterilised jar. It’s always best to use a jar you can fill right to the top so that the correct vacuum seal is created once it cools down. It reduces the chance of it fermenting/going off.
    All the best, N

  • 28. Joe Sharpe  |  July 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Excellent advice, thats worked a treat – thank you!

  • 29. Nip it in the bud  |  July 12, 2011 at 8:31 am

    smashing :o)

  • 30. julie grey  |  November 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Hi there Id just like to asy I tried homemade Picallalli in January this year 2011 its now November and its perfect it just gets nicer with age!

    • 31. Nip it in the bud  |  November 24, 2011 at 6:02 am

      It just gets better and better doesn’t it. I’ve not been able to eat any this year thanks to heartburn so by the time I open one from last years batch next year it’ll be simply divine (on a hunk of bread with some brie which is on the banned list of foods while pregnant).

  • 32. when there’s one too many courgettes « Nip it in the bud  |  September 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    […] Here’s the original recipe post – it’s ideal if you had an abundant summer’s harvest but are short on time to do anything with it (I’ve never got on with freezing veg). Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponDiggTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  • 33. Missus Tribble  |  September 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Pam The Jam is my heroine – and my Mum adores that piccalilli! Nothing like the toxic waste you can grab from any supermarket shelf 🙂

  • 34. Nip it in the bud  |  September 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    you’re so right, toxic waste is the perfect desription! And there’s never any lumpy vegetables in it, what’s that all about?

  • 35. Piccalilli – recipe | scorzonera  |  September 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    […] from the recipe on the BBC’s Hairy Bikers site. There’s a milder alternative on the nipitinthebud blog, from the River Cottage Preserves […]


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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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