Killerton estate piccalilli Recipe

This recipe comes from the Killerton Estate in Devon. They use all their own produce and recommend leaving it for four weeks before eating, but it is even better if you can wait for a further couple of months! 




30 min

Killerton estate piccalilli

Ingredients list

  • 450g/1lb fine sea salt
  • 625g/1lb 6oz small cauliflower florets
  • 625g/1lb 6oz diced onions
  • 1 cucumber
  • 225g/8oz courgettes
  • 350g/12½ oz granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints malt vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 55g/2oz plain flour
  • 35g/1¼ oz English mustard powder
  • 20g/¾ oz ground turmeric
  • 15g/½ oz ground ginger


Number of servings


Jar suggestion

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  1. Mix the salt with 4.5 litres/7½ pints boiling water. Leave until cold, then divide the brine between 2 large china bowls. 
  2. Add the cauliflower florets and diced onions to one bowl of brine. Cut the cucumber and courgettes in half lengthways. Seed the cucumber and cut both into quarter moons. Place in the second bowl of brine. Cover each bowl with a plate, making sure that the plate pushes the vegetables under the water. Leave for 12 hours in the fridge.  
  3. Drain each bowl of vegetables into a separate colander – they need to be kept separate. Rinse well under cold running water and drain thoroughly.
  4. Put the sugar, garlic and 1.1 litres/2 pints of malt vinegar into a large non-corrosive pan. Bring to the boil, then add the cauliflower, onions, mixed spice and nutmeg. Cook for just 3 minutes. Immediately add the courgette, cucumber and chillies. Cook for a further 4–5 minutes, so that the vegetables are just cooked and still retain a little crunch. Using a large sieve, lift the vegetables out of the vinegar, shake well and tip into a large clean bowl. Set aside while you finish the sauce.
  5. Mix the flour, mustard, turmeric and ginger in a bowl. Gradually stir in the remaining 375ml/13 fl oz cold malt vinegar, so that it forms a smooth paste. Dilute further with some of the hot, spiced vinegar, then mix the thin mustard paste into the remaining hot vinegar in the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until you can no longer taste the flour.
  6. Stir the sauce into the vegetables, spoon into warm sterilised jars and seal with vinegar-proof lids. Label and leave for at least four weeks for the flavours to develop.   


Recipe take from The Great British Vegetable Cookbook by Sybil Kapoor (£25. National Trust Books)

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