Christmas without piccalilli would be utterly, utterly unthinkable. Well – maybe I’m going over the top there but if you have leftovers from your Christmas dinner what better accompaniment to a cold slice of goose is there than a spoonful of piccalilli?  You kind of need to make it now. Ideally you will have made this a week or so ago but, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you haven’t. The piccalilli takes about a month to mature – if you make a batch this coming weekend it will be just about ready for boxing day but will be excellent by the new year.

You can put whatever veg you like into yours but I think cauliflower is a must. I added pear to mine along with the veg to add a mellow sweetness.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Veg of your choice – I used 1 cauliflower, 1 courgette, 1 cucumber, 1 pear, a handful of green beans, 8 – 10 shallots
  • 150g salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon English Mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1.3 litres cider vinegar.

Day 1

Cut all the veg into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl. Cover with cold water and add the salt. Stir well and leave covered overnight.

Day 2

Rinse the veg well under cold, running water.

Mix the spices and flour in a bowl with a splash of vinegar to form a smooth paste.

Bring the rest of the vinegar to the boil in a large pan and add the sugar and honey. Add the spice paste to the vinegar – cook and stir until the paste has dissolved into the vinegar.

Add the veg to pan and gently simmer for a minute or two.

Remove from the heat.

You need to prepare some storage jars – jam jars will be fine or you can buy rubber seal jars like those pictured below. To sterilize the jars wash them in hot water first. Then rinse them thoroughly in water as hot as your hands can stand. Now pour boiling water into the jars – if you don’t pre-heat the jars there’s a good chance they will crack when you pour the boiling water over them.

As soon as you can handle them – empty the water and dry with a clean tea-towel.

Spoon in the piccalilli and seal immediately.

Allow to mature for at least 1 month – don’t be tempted to try it before Christmas – it will be worth the wait.




  • Reply December 12, 2012

    Jill A.

    Looks great – can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply December 12, 2012


    Nice idea using the pear in there

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