Saturday, June 9, 2012
Recently I've been noticing cute small pickling cucumbers at the market. This week they seemed larger, so I dug through the bin and grabbed the smallest ones I could find. Ever since I made those Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickles, I've wanted to try a sweet cucumber pickle.
I looked at a number of recipes and settled on one from The Columbus Dispatch, as my base. The method it suggests using ice cubes was new to me, and I was excited to give that a try. I have no idea if the ice was responsible, but these pickles were nice and crispy when they were ready.
As usual, I made a few tweaks. I reduced the amount of sugar by half and the resulting pickle was pleasantly sweet. You can always refer to the original recipe, if you prefer your pickles even sweeter. I also changed up the seeds and spices a bit, adding a few whole black peppercorns as well as a bit of celery seed.
adapted from The Columbus Dispatch
1 lb small pickling cucumbers, washed & sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 dozen regular size ice cubes (full tray)
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp turmeric
6 black peppercorns
1 pinch ground cloves
In a nonreactive bowl, combine the sliced cucumbers, onion and salt. Cover the mixture with the ice cubes and set aside for 2 hours.
Pour off all of the liquid and drain well. I tasted a cucumber slice and it struck me as rather salty, so I briefly rinsed all of them under running cold water. Divide the mixture between two sterilized pint size glass jars.
In a pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, seeds and spices to a boil. Simmer for a minute or so until all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
Carefully divide the liquid mixture between the two jars of cucumbers and onions. It didn't reach all the way up to the top of the jars, so I added a small amount of cold water to make up for that. I used about 2-3 tablespoons (of water) for each jar.
Cool on the counter, and cover. Shake the jars gently, then refrigerate up to three weeks.
The pickles were really tasty this morning. I made them yesterday.