Autumn piccalilli with pear

Autumn piccalilli with pear

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus salting overnight

More effort

5 x 500ml jars
Eaten immediately, this pickle will have a punchy tang, perfect with strong cheeses, but by winter the flavours will mellow, ideal for sliced ham.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal31
  • fat0g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs6g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt1.01g


  • 2 small cauliflower, cut into small florets



    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 400g silverskin or pearl onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 600g courgette, cut into small chunks (about 2cm pieces)



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 6 firm pears, cored, and cut as the courgettes



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • 100g salt
  • 1.7l cider vinegar
  • finger-length piece fresh root ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
    Coriander seed

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 3 tbsp brown or black mustard seeds
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp cornflour
  • 5 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 3 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…


  1. In a bowl, mix together the vegetables, pears and salt with 2 litres of cold water, then cover and leave overnight.

  2. The next day, drain the brine from the vegetables, rinse briefly, then tip into a large saucepan with the vinegar, ginger, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 mins until the veg is just tender but still with a little bite. Drain the vegetables, reserving the liquid, and set aside while you make the sweet mustard sauce.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the cornflour, mustard powder and turmeric, then gradually pour in the hot vinegar while whisking, until you have a lump-free, thin yellow sauce. Return it to the saucepan and bubble over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 4 mins until smooth and thickened. Stir in the veg and spoon into five sterilised 500ml jars while hot, then seal. Once cool, enjoy straight away, or store in a cool, dark cupboard for 2-3 months. Refrigerate once opened.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Berry Crumble's picture
Berry Crumble
29th Aug, 2017
Fortnum&Masons sell a "Gamekeepers relish" a lovely fine courgette piccalilli, I used to buy it for my parents when I was a student in London, however now I've moved out to Wales and have a garden with a glut I thought I'd try a copycat and it worked out really well. I made the sauce as above but with a tad more cornflour. I left out the cauliflower and added a bit more of the courgette, pear and normal onions, which I grated. I didn't precook it, instead I put the grated veg in salt water for about 4 hours, drained it then mixed it in the sauce and put it into jars. It's still got a lovely crunch but it spreads well in sandwiches. Sorry for the lengthy comment, and sorry for changing the recipe so much! My parents say they prefer it to the F&M one, although the they have to say that really don't they?
Berry Crumble's picture
Berry Crumble
20th Jul, 2019
2 years on and this still tastes great, still crunchy! Highly recommend
3rd Apr, 2012
where did everyone get silverskins from? I ended up using already pickled ones and the recipe was very nice. but I would like to try it with raw silverskins I might try with chopped/sliced shallots. I have searched everywhere no success yet
24th Jan, 2012
I made this as a chutney novice and it turned out really nice :) I halved the quantities too which made about 10 quite small jars which was more than enough as gifts. I didn't have any turmeric so I added half the amount needed of curry powder which sounds odd... but was really tasty. Needed a yellower colour but I'll be including curry powder again! The coriander seeds are a little too intense - any veg that has had one sat next to it in the jar tastes crazy strong! I'll try crushing as suggested next time. Overall great though.
22nd Dec, 2011
Oh, incidentally, the halved quantity mix yielded me 6 1/2 jars of 'jam jar size' (i.e. lemon curd, branston pickle, pickled chillie jars etc.!).. I also tested a little piece of vegetable every two minutes after it had reached boiling point, to make sure they didn't lose their crunch, and I only cut mine into barely 1cm dice, as I prefer a smaller cut picallili. GO ON, HAVE A GO!!! It's really easy, and delicious! :)
22nd Dec, 2011
Awesome!!! I halved all the quantities, after reading the above comments, and was VERY careful to use measured, level tablespoons of cornflour. I followed the recipe very carefully, albeit I used a jar of finest silverskin little onions in white balsamic vinegar (drained weight 204g), and drained the vinegar into a jug and used as part of the vinegar element. I also added an extra couple of heaped spoons of little silverskin onions because it looked like it could take it - I only added the onions at the stage where you add the vinegar and boil, as they're already pickled. I also added one very finely deseeded mild red chillie, and an extra half tablespoon of brown mustard seeds. When I made the sauce, after I'd simmered it, I added an extra scant tablespoon of cornflour (mixed with cold water) and a pinch of salt, and the resulting picallili, even on the first day, after cooling was absolutely divine - highly recommended, just add to your tastes!
9th Dec, 2011
can anyone tell me if when it says Silverskin Onions does it mean the ones that come in vinegar? thanks
jburton's picture
10th Jul, 2011
This has turned out beautifully. I used all home-grown veg. It was easy and I had no problems with just the use of my jam pan and largest saucepan. I've jarred plenty up and I've also given away a jar each to my mum and mother-in-law, full marks given by both. One of the jars we will eat now and the rest put away for Christmas. mmmm turkey and home-made piccalilli sarnies.
11th Mar, 2011
i have been looking for a piccally recipe for ages that i cn convert for my diabetic husband and if i use canderel i think i can make an acceptable alternative to the traditional preserve.
1st Dec, 2010
Made this yesterday. Had some on my cheese sandwich at lunch time today to try it, and it's really lovely. I used baby onions and normal pickling vinegar as I could not get any cider vinegar. We don't like big pieces in the piccalilli so I chopped the veg and pear up small and it cooked in just 8 mins in my big pan. It made 5 500 ml jars, little stocking fillers for parents and sister.


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