- Cucumber pickles
Cucumber’s season is at its peak, on those first days of July we have to think about preparing…winter..
Depressing I know but now that we have those beauties on the market stalls we have to think about preserving, freezing… etc.. to extend summer. Are you feeling better now ? Well, I do. I can definitely imagine myself next November having aperitif with my friends eating some of my pickles with a glass of bellini for example.
Pickling began 4000 years ago by using cucumbers. It was a way to preserve perishable food (vegetables but also beef and pork) that became a delicacy as people enjoyed the resulting taste.
The whole world is pickling, most of the time vegetables called in different names.
Let’s prepare ours.
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 tbsp of coarse salt
- Jars, 1 of 500ml or a few small
- 300ml cider vinegar
- 300ml of water
- 200g of caster sugar
- ½ tsp of fennel seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 star anis
- 6 dill sprigs
Wash the cucumbers and slice them in 1cm-wide pieces and sprinkle with the coarse salt and leave it in the fridge for at least one hour.
Wash your jars and sterilize them, 2 ways : bring some water to the boil and take off the lid and rubber if there is one and plunge everything in the boiling water for a least half an hour. The other way is to wash your jars with soapy water, dry them and put them in the over for half an hour at 140°/Gas mark 1. The lid and rubber will have to be boiled.
While you are sterilizing your jars, prepare the hot pickle.
Put all the ingredients together in a pan (except the dill) and boil until the sugar has dissolved.
Rinse the cucumber slices and pack them into your jars with the dill. Cover with the hot pickle. Tap the jar to remove any air bubbles and close the jar while still hot.
Put it in the fridge for at least one week before opening, or do like me, open it the following day, just to taste, and put it back in the fridge. The longest it stays in vinegar, the softest the cucumber will be.
For an even more colorful touch, you can add some lemon slices.