Monday, July 23, 2012

wickedly delicious refrigerator pickles

 A few years ago I found some gourmet pickles that were not quite sweet but definitely not dill. The thing that stood out was that they had a real kick to them with the addition of some hot pepper. The sweetness of the brine against the subtle heat of the peppers was so yummy! 

I usually don’t like sweet pickles {at all} but this combination made them so good! I knew I needed to try to make something similar. I altered a refrigerator pickle recipe that I had and this is what I came up with. They result is a slightly sweet and still crunchy pickle with a little heated zing from jalapeno peppers. 

Now that our gardens are producing again, I thought it was time to whip up a batch to have and to share.

{wickedly delicious} refrigerator pickles
  • 6 half pint canning jars
  • 2 pounds of pickling cucumbers, 1/8th inch slice
  • 3 tsp salt (divided)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1 Tbs celery seed
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved and smashed
  • 3 jalapenos, sliced {you can leave these out if you just want a nice sweet pickle recipe}
Begin by running your jars, lids and rings through your dishwasher to sanitize them. Make sure they are very clean before moving on.
In a large bowl add the cukes, 1 cup at a time, and lightly sprinkle each layer with 1/8 tsp of salt. Continue this layering until you have all of the cukes and have used 1 tsp of the salt.

Add the onion and gently toss to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for one hour. This will draw the excess moisture out of the cukes so you will have a nice, crisp pickle. Drain of all liquid at the end of the hour.
The brine: Combine the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 2 tsp of salt, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar dissolves. This only takes about 2 minutes.

Pour over the cukes and let stand for 10 minutes. Divide among the jars and top with extra vinegar if you find that you need more liquid in the jars. Allow to cool and then top with the lid and ring. {If you are a little messy like me then you will want to wipe down the jars once cooled.}

Once cooled, place in the refrigerator and wait one week before enjoying these yummy pickles. I know this step is hard but it really allows the flavors to develop. Once the week is up, get ready for some pickle yumminess! Since these aren’t processed, they will only keep fresh in the fridge for 6 weeks. {Don’t worry, they will be long gone before you have to worry about spoiling!}
These look so cute all wrapped up and ready to give. Your recipient will love it. In fact, the only complaint I get is that the jar is too small and that they wish there was more! People almost always ask me for the recipe.
I hope this is a recipe that you will try and enjoy. I would love to here about it if you do. What things do you like to make with cucumbers? Any goodies to share?