We have a very popular type of pickle (more a chutney, really) called 'Branston' here in the UK. When you order a Ploughman's Lunch at a pub, you often a spoonful of this on the side (For those who don't know... a ploughman's lunch is - a large chunk of mature cheddar - or stilton - served with a small amount of salad, pickled onions and sweet pickle, such as Branston's - plus a portion of French bread or a freshly baked roll!)
Here's a recipe for a Branston-style sweet and tangy pickle. I clipped this recipe from a newspaper, a long time ago, so I am unable to cite my source !
This makes about 4 x 1 lb jars
1 medium swede
250 g carrots
1 medium cauliflower
4 cloves garlic
125 g dates
15 sweet cornichon
225 g dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
60 ml lemon juice
350 ml cider or malt vinegar
1 tbsp Worcester sauce (Lee & Perrins)
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
a few dashes of liquid gravy browning for colouring
Cube the carrots and swede into small pieces, and finely chop the garlic, dates, cauliflower, onions, apples, courgettes and gherkins. Combine all the ingredients except the colouring in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer until the swede is cooked through but still firm, and the mixture has reduced (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Then add the liquid colouring until the colour is dark brown.
Spoon into warm sterilized jars and seal. This needs at least 3/4 weeks to mature.
Great with cheeses and cold meats.