Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recipe: Refrigerator Pickles

When I was little I used to eat dill pickles straight from the jar - and not just a few, I'm talking about a lot of pickles here. There's just something addictive about their pungent aroma and pucker inducing sourness that you just don't find in other foods. So when I saw pickling cucumbers at the farmer's market, I thought it was about time I tried my hand at making them.

But it turns out that canning things has all sorts of steps intended to keep the food safe for long periods of time, and I was not feeling such a long, involved process. Fortunately it turns out there's such a thing as refrigerator pickles (aren't all delicious, crisp pickles kept in the fridge?) These cukes get all the yummy sweet and sour pickle flavor, and even last quite a while without involving the post-jar filling sterilization.

These didn't taste exactly like the dill pickles I preferred as a kid. They're somewhere in between that and a bread and butter pickle. Still, they were very flavorful and crisp and made a killer topping for my home ground brisket burgers.Yum!

Refrigerator Pickles
Makes 3 pints
  • 9-12 pickling cucumbers per jar
  • 1/2-cup (packed) fresh dill (I forgot this and used a little less dried dill)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, honey or Splenda (I used a little less than this and they turned out plenty sweet!)
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar (5%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (canning or kosher is best, but not vital)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  1. Sanitize your jars and lids. The sanitize setting on your dishwasher will work or you can boil them for 10 minutes.
  2. Slice cucumbers into preferred shape
  3. Mix everything but the cucumbers in a non-metal pot or a coated metal pot and bring to near boil.
  4. Pack the cucumbers in the jars and fill with simmering vinegar mix to a 1/4 inch from top.
  5. Let cool for 2 hours and refrigerate.
  6. Wait 24 hours to 1 week to eat for flavors to full soak in. 
Can be refrigerator for up to 2 months.



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