We eat a LOT of pickled cucumbers in our house. Whether they are on homemade burgers, on top of blue cheese in a baguette, in salads or used in our homemade tartare sauce. I have also caught people just popping into the fridge and snacking on them too - naughty but delicious ;)
We probably go through 2 jars a week so this could get expensive if we didn't make our own, but we do and I have to say I think they are more tasty than the shop bought ones anyway! My eldest daughter and I make these together and although we KNOW we should wait 48 hours before eating them, but we can't help having a taste test ;)
This easy and quick recipe is a our family recipe and one that is tried and tested. It only takes about 20 minutes to make in total and that is including the sterilising of jars! The pickled cucumbers will keep in the fridge for about 4 weeks after making too, so plenty of time to eat. They taste fresher and more 'summery' (if that makes sense?) than normal shop bought pickled cucumbers. So on with the recipe!
Makes 7-8 x 300ml jars
- 900g / 2lb of standard salad cucumbers (this is approx 3 large cucumbers if you are winging the measurements!)
- 640ml white vinegar
- 640ml water
- 4 tablespoons table salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar if you like a really vinegary pickled taste OR 8 tablespoons sugar if you like a sweeter more well rounded taste.
The pickling liquid makes more than you need, this is because quite often you may need to top the jars up more after the tapping process (see below) plus if you have anything else laying around you can pickle that too! (onion, chilli, garlic, carrot, cabbage, for example, with the leftover liquid!)
Per jar also add:
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds
- small sprig of fresh dill (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chopped shallot (optional)
If you do not like any of these seeds, just remove them, or add different ones. You can also add chilli flakes, chopped fresh chilli, fresh dill or garlic as well!
- Firstly before doing anything you will need to sterilise your jars. We use the water bath method:Remove the lids from your jars and put to one side. Next place the jars into a large pan and fill the pan with water until the jars are covered (inside and out). Bring to the boil and keep at the maximum temperature for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and cover the pan to keep the jars warm until you are ready to fill them. Place lids in a small pan and fill with 4 inches of water, bring to the boil for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and cover the pan until you are ready to seal the jars.
- Thinly slice your cucumbers and spread the slices out on a chopping board to allow to air dry a little as you prep the rest.
- In a saucepan add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar and bring to the boil, turn down to a medium simmer for 5 minutes. Once simmered, remove from the heat.
- Remove the jars from the hot water making sure you do not touch the inside of the jar, if you do, you'll need to sterilise it again.
- In each jar add the seed/peppercorn/herb/shallot mix using the quantities above or using your own seed/herb/shallot mix.
- Add as many cucumber slices to each jar as possible and then pour over the water/vinegar/sugar and salt mix so that it thoroughly covers the sliced cucumber.
- Very gently and carefully tap the jars so that any air bubbles release in the mix, you may need to top up the pickling liquid again.
- Once this has been done, add the lids and screw tight. Once the jars have cooled, add a label with the date on to the jar, put them into the fridge but remember to shake them gently twice a day for 2 days. After 2 days they are ready to eat and will keep for 4 weeks in the fridge! You'll have plenty of these and they make great gifts for friends, family and neighbours!