Hairy Bikers' farmhouse pickle recipe

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Love pickle? Have a go at making your own with this delicious farmhouse pickle recipe by the Hairy Bikers'. Pickle goes with so many meals so make this in advance and use with whatever you like. Visit goodtoknow for more homemade recipes

Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time48 mins
Total Time1 hours 8 mins

Love pickle? Have a go at making your own with this tasty farmhouse pickle recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Make it in advance and add it to whatever meal you like - we suggest cold pies


  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 150g sultanas
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 500ml malt vinegar
  • 500g Bramley cooking apples, peeled, quartered, cored and roughly chopped
  • 500g dark purple plums, stoned and cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 medium swede (about 725g)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rough 1cm dice
  • 4 tsp ground arrowroot
  • 5 average jam jars with glass or plastic-coated lids




  1. Put the ginger, salt, pepper and spices in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish and add the onions, sultanas, sugar and 450ml of the vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the apples and plums and cook for 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the onions and fruits are simmering, prepare the swede. Put it on a board, carefully cut off the thick skin and discard. Cut the swede into thin slices about 75mm thick, then cut the slices into small cubes. Watch your fingers because swede can be tricky to slice.
  3. Tip the swede and carrots into the pan with the other ingredients. Return to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly until the swede and carrots are only just tender but the apples and plums have almost completely turned to mush. Blend the arrowroot with the remaining vinegar until smooth and stir into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes more, stirring constantly, or until the pickle looks thick and glossy.
  4. While the pickle is cooking, wash the jars and lids thoroughly and rinse in hot water. Drain well upside down on a rack and leave to dry. To sterilise the jars, place them on a baking tray and heat in a preheated oven at 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes before using. Do not let them cool completely. They should still be hot when you come to use them, so handle with an oven glove.
  5. Spoon the pickle into the warm jars and leave to cool. Cover with lids, label the jars and keep in a cool, dark place for about a month before using.
Top Tip for making Hairy Bikers' farmhouse pickle

You don't have to use new jars - recycle old jam or marmalade jars to store the pickle.

Hairy Bikers

Simon King and David Myers are the fantastic duo that make up the Hairy Bikers and are best known as Si and Dave. The Hairy Bikers have several cookbooks published including How to Love Food and Lose Weight and Eat for Life. Hairy Biker recipes are always triple tested and try to be as fuss-free as possible so you can trust the timings. Si and Dave have also had several hit cooking shows as they remain as one of the UK’s favourite cookery duos.