I have a hand-me-down canning cookbook from 1950s. It is well used, and tape now holds most the pages together, but it still has some inspiring recipes! My favourite recipe is for a fermented pickles recipe that only involves packing pickles into canning jar, screwing on the lid and then… leaving them… sitting on a shelf… until you are ready to eat them.
An offbeat fermented pickles recipe
This recipe is very different from the usual fermented pickles recipes. All you have to do is pack the pickles then store them. There’s no canning, preserving, or scum removal. And it makes the most delicious traditional-style pickles. It really is an amazing recipe.
(Side note: when I lived in Ireland we simply preserved jam by laying a piece of wax paper over the finished jam and putting on a lid. I had about a 20% failure rate… which wasn’t bad considering there wasn’t any preservation involved.)
- 1 lbs pickling cucumbers
- ⅓ cup pickling salt
- 4 cups water (chlorine free)
- Pickling Brine
- 2 cups of chlorine free water
- ¼ cup vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 tbsp pickling salt
- Packing in the Jar
- 1 tsp grated horseradish
- A sprig of dill
- 1 tsp mustard
- Trim the blossom ends off the cucumbers
- Mix the icing solution using cold water, and let the cucumbers soak in the icing solution over night. Keep the cucumbers submerged in the icing solution by weighing them down with bags of ice (also helps to keep the cucumbers cold).
- While the cucumbers are icing, mix the Pickling Brine ingredients (vinegar, salt and water) and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour brine into a sterilized 1 quart mason jar and allow to cool over night.
- The next morning drain the pickles and pack them into the brine filled mason jar, along with the dill, horseradish and mustard. Leave at least 1 inch of headroom.
- Put on the lid then store in a cool dark location.
- The pickles will bubble and ferment for 4-5 days, but leave them undisturbed until you are ready to eat them.
-I recommend leaving the pickles for at least a month. I usually make enough jars to last us through the winter.
-Always be extra cautious with any long term ferment. Don’t eat anything that looks or smells bad, and don’t add garlic. Garlic can be a botulism risk, and no one wants that. Read up on the basic fermentation rules for more information.
-The traditional recipe call for standard mason jar with metal lid and jar ring. I like the low-tech solution, however, I use an airlock or fido for any batch of pickles that is going to ferment for more than 1 month.