SWEET PICKLES (CUCUMBER)

YIELD: AROUND 10 CUPS
       
INGREDIENTS:
1.8kg (4lbs) pickling cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onion (optional)
4 teaspoons pickling salt
3 cups white vinegar
1-2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons pickling spice (optional)
   
METHOD:
  1. 3-4 hours prior: wash pickling cucumbers, drain. Trim ends and discard. Slice into rounds 1/4 inch (0.5cm) thick. Prepare onion slices (if using). Place cucumbers and onion in a bowl, add salt and stir to distribute. Place into a large sieve and place over bowl. Refrigerate 3-4 hours.
  2. Prepare jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the vinegar, sugar and pickling spice (tied into a piece of muslin) in a pan. Simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and discard pickling spice bag.
  4. Drain pickle slices/onion slices, rinsing well to remove excess salt. Pack tightly into jars to 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace. 
  5. Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal. 
  6. Ladle hot pickling solution to 1/2 inch headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rims and seal. 
  7. Process in boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
  8. The next day: check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months.
   
NOTES:
  • Cut into rounds (circles), sandwich slices (long horizontal slices) or spears (icicles)
  • Pickling Spice (makes 1 cup) – mix the following ingredients into a 250ml jar. Shake well.
6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons allspice berries
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
6 whole cloves
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon chilli flakes3 bay leaves, crumbled
3 cinnamon sticks
   



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