Pickling is a great way to preserve homegrown cucumbers. Especially when you have more appearing in summer than you can eat!
There are lots of recipes for pickling cucumbers but I have adapted this one to suit my family’s taste.
Cucumber Pickling – What I do!
I start by washing the cucumbers before slicing them and then adding rock (sea) salt. I cover the slices with a dinner plate, weighed down with a heavy weight and then leave the whole bowl in the fridge overnight. This helps to draw a lot of the water out of the cucumber slices. These slices are then rinsed in cold water and drained the next day.
I use a variety of ingredients to flavour my cucumber pickles. Fresh jalepenos, chillies and bay leaves from the kitchen garden, garlic slices and crushed garlic, turmeric powder, dill seeds and split mustard seeds. I use different combinations in separate jars … so much fun creating!
The main pickling liquid is made by boiling apple cider vinegar which I dilute with water as my family prefers a more mellow taste. To this, I add some soft brown unrefined sugar and turmeric powder. This pickling liquid is ready once it’s boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, I prepare some recycled jam jars by washing them in hot soapy water and then popping them in a low oven, 120c fan for 25 mins. This cleans and sterilises them.
When the bottles are ready, they are filled with the drained brined cucumber slices. I like to add different flavours in each and these are my combinations, feel free to pick yours!
My Flavour Combinations
- Sliced garlic and jalepenos
- Crushed whole clove of garlic and whole Ring of Fire chillies (pricked at the top with a sharp knife)
- Fresh green bay leaves with split mustard seeds and dill seeds
- Whole fresh green chillies (pricked at the top with a sharp knife) with split mustard and dill seeds
The jars are all filled to the top with the hot pickling liquid and the cleaned lids screwed on tightly. Now to leave them for a while … see how long we can resist opening a jar to have a little taste. A few weeks is a must to allow the vinegar and spices to do their job!
Are you tempted to make some this summer?
Recipe for Pickling Cucumbers
Spiced tangy pickled cucumber slices for a taste of summer anytime of the year!
- 1 kilogram cucumbers
- 80 grams rock salt
- 350 ml apple cider vinegar
- 350 ml water
- 70 grams soft brown unrefined sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 jam jars (washed clean )
5 small fresh bay leaves, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 sliced clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of split mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspponn of dill seeds, 1 sliced fresh jalepeno, green chillies.
- Wash and slice the cucumbers. Then layer the slices into a bowl with rock salt added in between each layer. After that place a plate on top and then a weight onto it like a tin of beans.
- Keep overnight in the fridge to allow the cucumber slice to release their excess water. The next day rinse in cold water and drain the next day.
- Place the washed jars in a low oven (120c fan) for 25 minutes to sterilise.
- In a saucepan, add the vinegar, water, sugar and turmeric powder and heat this mixture. Bring it to boil and ensure that the sugar is dissolved.
- Once the jam jars are ready, place the drained cucumber slices in them. You can add the flavour ingredients of your choice. Once this is done, top each jar with the hot pickling liquid and shut their lids tight. Leave to cool before storing in a cool dark place.
- These pickles need time to mature and I am going to leave mine for a few weeks before I taste them.
This recipe requires overnight resting to allow cucumbers to release excess water. Once made, they need time to mature for a few weeks at least.
Some more Cucumber Recipes for you this summer!