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How to create sweet pickle better that Branston pickle

Home made branston pickle on cheese
Sweet pickle on cheese

Nothing could be better than enjoying a lovely cheese sandwich or a cheese board with a sweet pickle. This is something that is typically only familiar to people in the UK, as we have been introduced to Branston pickle many years ago.

For anyone reading outside the UK, it is basically a condiment that falls between chutney and relish, made with a variety of vegetables and various spices. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of Branston pickle itself; there's something about its flavor aftertaste that puts me off.

As I do like chutneys and I do like the idea of having those vegetables mixed together, I wanted to create something that tastes more natural and has a better depth of flavor, rather than just vinegar. So, I set myself on the path of creating a sweet pickle that tastes much better than Branston (in my opinion), and, of course, being homemade, I know exactly what's in it, and it doesn't include any nasties or preservatives. The creation is a little time-consuming, purely for the chopping of the vegetables, but it will be worth it, trust me.


- 1/2 of suede/turnip/rutabaga

- 1 small to medium cauliflower

- 1/2 courgette

- 2 apples

- 3 onions

- 2 large carrots

- 1/2 cup raisins

- 1/2 cup dates

- 1 cup brown sugar

- 1/2 cup pickled cucumbers

- 2 tablespoons tomato paste

- 1 tablespoon allspice

- 2 tablespoons garlic powder

- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

- 1/2 cup distilled vinegar

Start by chopping all the vegetables into chunks. The size of the chunks is a personal preference, but I like to have a mixture of sizes for texture. Don't forget that vegetables like cauliflower and courgettes will blend into the sauce after cooking.

In a large saucepan, combine all the vegetables, vinegars, sugar, and spices. Mix well and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, taste the sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of chili flakes, and return to the hob for another 20-30 minutes.

The sauce should have a nice light brown color, and you should be able to make out all the vegetables inside it. Vegetables should be slightly crunchy and not mushy.

After approximately 1 hour, your chutney should be done. You can now either put it in the fridge in an airtight container or water bath can it for 15 minutes for a shelf-stable version.

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