Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hands On - Refrigerator Pickles

If you like old fashioned bread and butter pickles you might like to try this recipe.  If you are thinking about becoming a pickle maker, this is a good gateway pickle, since you don't have to process them.  I have had very good luck storing these pickles in the refrigerator the entire winter. 

Slice cucumbers about 1/8 inch thick or less.  You can slice by hand or  use a slicing disc from a food processor or a mandoline.  You will need about 9 cups to start.  The volume will "shrink" after you salt and drain them.  If you can get pickling cucumbers they work the best.  Slicers will work fine, too.  No need to peel - just scrub them lightly with a brush.
Slice onions very thin - you will need 1-2 cups, depending on how oniony you like your pickles.

Mix the sliced cucumbers and onions in a large bowl with 2 T. kosher or pickling salt.  After about 30-60 minutes, rinse and drain vegetables, using a colander or large strainer.  Pack cucumbers and onions into 3 pint jars (or 1 quart and 1 pint).  This works best with a jar funnel.

While the salt and cucumber mixture is doing its thing, make pickling syrup.  Stir together in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook 1-2 minutes the following:

2 cups white sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 heaping t. each - celery seed and mustard seed
3/4 t. turmeric

Pour the syrup into the jars, using a canning funnel.  Cover the jars, wipe them off and store in the refrigerator once they have cooled to room temperature.

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