Mr S had some cucumber pickles at a restaurant and loved them and so we decided to make some of our own. We have plenty of cucumbers growing outside in the garden (I didn’t use special pickling cucumbers) and vinegar in the store cupboard. I then we just added flavour with what we had growing in the garden or in the cupboard but I will give you suggestions of what you can use. I tried various recipes for the brine before I came up with one we liked. I used recycled jars.
Cucumbers (it depends on the size as to how many).
4 cups of water
2 cups of white vinegar (it was also nice with apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp salt
You can buy pickling spice, or you can add what you already have. I added a fresh chilli and some fennel leaves, but a lot of people use things like dill, chilli flakes (if you like it spicy), peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic or onion.
- Make the brine in a non-reactive pan by mixing the water, vinegar, sugar and salt together and heating it to dissolve the solids. You do not need to boil the liquid.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool until it is room temperature.
- Whilst it is cooling wash the cucumbers. I also peeled mine as the skins are quite tough on the heirloom variety that I grow. If you are not peeling it is a good idea to remove any prickles.
- Cut the ends off the cucumbers and slice as desired. Some times I do mine in round slices and sometimes in spears or wedges.
- Pack the cucumbers into the jars but not too tight as they need a bit of space for the brine to soak into the pickles.
- Put in your seasoning. If using chilli flakes or garlic I put in a quarter of a teaspoon. I put in a couple of sprigs of herbs, and just a few peppercorns or mustard seeds.
- Add the brine once it has cooled. It needs to cover all of the cucumber.
- Put the lid on the jar and place in the fridge.
- The longer that you leave the pickles the tastier they will be, but they will be tasty if they have had at least 24 hours in the brine.
- These can be stored for 6 to 8 weeks, but to be honest, ours have been eaten before then.
- Using a clean utensil when taking out the cucumbers rather than fingers will ensure that they are not contaminated.
- Always check for signs of mould before consuming.