Although cucumbers are not seasonally available in temperate Sydney, I came across some lovely small ones from northern Australia where they are available year round, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of making my favourite pickled cucumbers.
Using this method you will be able to make crunchy and tasty pickles as a garnish for your meals.
Cucumber, Dill and Garlic Pickles
- Small cucumbers, whole or if using large cucumbers, sliced into pieces
- Ice cubes and cold water that has been refrigerated
- white vinegar
- 1 level teaspoon Kosher Sea Salt, Celtic, or pickling salt per cup of brine. (this salt has no additives so keeps the brine from becoming cloudy when used for pickling)
- 1 Tblsp of black peppercorns for each jar
- Sprigs of fresh dill (and unopened dill flowers if you have some growing in your garden)
- 2 cloves of garlic , peeled and washed for each jar
Find jars with a wide mouth and large enough to hold the cucumbers tightly with a centimeter or more to spare above the tops of the cucumbers. As jar capacity will vary from jar to jar here is a method of working out how much brine you will need for your jars:
- Pack washed cucumbers tightly into the jar. Fill the jar with water to the top holding the cucumbers down.
- Empty the water from the jar into a measuring jug, holding back the cucumbers to measure the amount of brine needed for your jar.
- Divide the quantity to approx 40% vinegar 60% water. ( we used under 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water to fill our jar)
- You will need 1 Tblsp of Kosher Sea Salt or Celtic Salt per cup of brine
- Wash the cucumbers, removing the blossom end
- Wash garlic cloves and dill well
- Place the cucumbers into a large metal bowl, covering them with cold water and ice cubes, cover and let them stand for a couple of hours in the fridge. Add more ice cubes as they melt.
- Sterilise your chosen jars by washing them well in soapy water, rinsing well
- Preheat the oven to 110ºC then place the jars upright on an oven tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. They should be completely dry when ready
- Put the lids into a small pan of water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and leave them to simmer on the lowest heat. Use metal tongs that have been boiling in the water to remove them when ready to seal your jars. Just remove with the sterilised tongs and shake off any of the water
- When the jars are sterilised remove the tray from the oven and you are ready to begin
- Place garlic into the bottom of your jar
- Then pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar
- Bring the water needed for each jar to the boil and add the salt and fully dissolve it
- Pour the water into a heat proof pyrex jug and add the vinegar, stirring in well
- Sprinkle the black peppercorns into the jar of cucumbers
- Push the fresh dill into the spaces around the cucumbers
- Gently pour the brine into the jar packed with cucumbers to cover them completely allowing 1 cm from the top of the jar
- Pick up each sterilised lid with the sterilised tongs and seal the jars tightly
- Gently tap the jars on the counter top to remove any bubbles of air from between the cucumbers
- Allow to cool fully and store in the refrigerator.
- Allow 6 weeks before opening so that the flavours mature (if you can resist !)