We often get asked how to make pickles. Especially the kind of pickles you can buy in a deli or like your Granny used to make. The fermented(often thought of as ‘kosher’) kind. To make matters worse, people often want to know how to make pickles when cucumbers are in season and their houses are incredibly warm. If that’s the case with you, look no further!
It’s 4,000,000 (million) degrees celsius in our apartment. For our friends who measure temperature in the Imperial system, that’s approximately 3,756,432 degrees Fahrenheit. Approximately.
It’s too hot to make salad. It’s almost too hot to make ice. I may curl up into the oven to cool down. But I’m not cooking.
This is why it’s an ideal time to make pickles. Fermented pickles to be exact. And, if you have a jar that’s big enough, you can make 2 litres (i.e. quarts) in less than 2 minutes of work. And you don’t even have to turn the stove.
The recipe is entirely scalable so make as much as you want. I have some nifty 2 quart (nearly 2 litre) jars that are perfect for the job so that’s the basis for this recipe.
How to Make Pickles – Ingredients
- Enough cucumbers to fill a 2 quart (2 litre jar). I used about 7 large ones (if using a wide-mouthed mason jar, keep the smallest cuke to the side)
- 3 tablespoons pickling (or coarse salt)
- 1 quart/ litre of dechlorinated water (if your town uses chlorine, boil it or let it sit in an uncovered pot for an hour). If your town ads chloramine (which does not evaporate), buy purified water
- Seasonings (hot peppers, dill seed, garlic). Go wild.
- 1 large jar (I prefer a large wide-mouthed mason jar though they are tough to get outside of Canada)
How to Make Pickles – Instructions
- Optional: the cucumber has 2 ends – one that has a stem and one that had a blossom. Scrape the end of the blossom off (like in the photo); many believe this will lead to a crisper pickle as it removes an enzyme from the cucumber.
- Place all but the small cucumber in the jar.
- Add the salt and seasoning.
- Wedge the small cucumber in sideways – this ‘seatbelts’ the rest of the contents to stop preserves from floating.
- Top with water.
- Place on a warm spot in your kitchen, it will start bubbling in a day or two (as long as your temperature is about the mid-60’s).
- Cover with cloth, cheesecloth or a cover your fermenting pickles with a reusable coffee filter (my personal favorite)
- Check daily for mould on the surface. If it appears, remove it with a spoon.
- Once bubbling stops (which will take a few days to 2-3 weeks depending on how warm your kitchen is), taste your pickles. They will finish quicker in warmer temperatures. Know that they will be crisper when chilled.
- When the texture and taste are what you like, you’re done! Store in the fridge to slow (and practically stop) the fermenting.
What do/would you add to fermented pickles?