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Nelly Yeoman’s pickle

Nelly Yeoman's 'Pan Yan' pickle

Classic home-made condiment

This recipe, echoing that 1970s classic Pan-Yan Pickle, was contributed by Bev Glover, of Hartlepool, as taught to her by her gran Nelly Yeoman (1907-1985).

Bev’s kindly supplied a photo of her grandmother, Tryphena Helen King (aka Nelly Yeoman), as a little girl – the one at the front.

Her uncle, Joe Currell, is holding the horse’s head and they are standing in the Hartlepool dairy yard where he worked.

Nelly Yeoman, pictured as a child, front
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1lb white onions
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large marrow (or four courgettes)
  • 4 pints vinegar (pickling or white vinegar – malt makes it a darker colour)
  • 1oz turmeric
  • 2 tbsp dried English mustard
  • 3oz cornflour
  • 2lb 9oz sugar (this is quite a sweet pickle, add more depending on the vinegar strength)
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1oz pickling spice (tied in a muslin cloth or old/clean stocking)

The night before making, cut or dice all of the veg into 1/4″ cubes/small florets into a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, cover and leave overnight (at least 12 hours).

The next day, rinse off the salt and put all the veg in a large heavy-based stockpot or jam pan with the vinegar and sugar.

Add the pickling spices in the muslin, tied so nothing escapes. Bring everything to the boil, stirring regularly so the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until everything is tender but not over-soft.

Meanwhile mix the turmeric, mustard powder and cornflour in a small bowl with a bit of water until it forms a cream-like consistency. Make sure the turmeric doesn’t clump.

Add this mixture to the pan, stirring gently until the vinegar begins to thicken.

Spoon the cooked pickle into hot sterilised jars, add a circle of greaseproof paper to the top and then seal with a lid or cover.

Note: This pickle does thicken further as it cools. However, if it is too runny return it all to a pan, bring to the boil, add another ounce of cornflour in a bit of water, and then bottle in sterilised jars as before.

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