Cucumbers and Gherkins

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Cucumbers and Gherkins

Postby johnfb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:03 pm

Hi all

So today I have planted my cucs and gherkins for this year.
Last year I ate them off the vine and gave the to friends..or let them go bad in the bottom of the fridge.

So this year I plan on pickling them.

Does anyone have a tried and true method of pickling gherkins and cucumbers, or indeed is the method they same

I have a copy of Balls Preserving but they seem to lean towards gherkins as far as I can see, but maybe they call gherkins or cucs dill pickles...all very confusing for me.

So if someone has a good method and a recipe for me to use I would appreciate it.

I assume it is just vinegar and water and some spices, then processed for 10 mins in their jars under boiling water...but tbh I am not sure at all


These are not intended to be eaten within 2 weeks or so and I would hope to have a good few jars of pickled cucs and gherkins for over the winter months, so the preserving process would hopefully make them last a long time.
Thanks

john
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Postby wheels » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:21 pm

There at least one on here somewhere John - was it Big Guy's maybe?
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Postby johnfb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:31 pm

wheels wrote:There at least one on here somewhere John - was it Big Guy's maybe?


Hi Phil
Yeah I had a look at his one but it is in "American English" with quarts etc I was looking for a more European one with grams and millilitres etc.

john
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Postby johnfb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:38 pm

Just "got" a copy of canning and preserving for dummies and it seems to have what I am looking for . Thanks.
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Postby saucisson » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:20 pm

I pickled some whole cucumbers as a joke christmas before last and thy are still fine. I'll see If I can remember how I did it if you want me to John. I think I brined them before pickling them.
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Postby schlafsack » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:58 pm

The best pickles i've ever had were brined and not made using vinegar. The sour taste came from a fermentation. Mmmmmm hungry now.
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Postby johnfb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:03 pm

saucisson wrote:I pickled some whole cucumbers as a joke christmas before last and thy are still fine. I'll see If I can remember how I did it if you want me to John. I think I brined them before pickling them.


Yes Dave please, if you could think back it would be a great help, thanks
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Postby Big Guy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:17 pm

Here are a few of my favourites

Nine Day Pickles

6 quart basket of cucumbers. Wash cukes, cut in half and remove seeds. Slice into chunks and put in pan or crock. Sprinkle 2 cups picking salt over them. Pour 4 quarts boiling water (16 cups). Leave 3 days

(Keep Brine)
On 3 rd day drain off and heat brine and pour back over. Let set 3 more days. Drain and throw away brine.

Rinse cucumbers in cold water. Pat dry on bath towel. Put back in container and dissolve:
1 tbls. Alum in 1 gallon boiling water. Let stand 6 hours on pickles. Drain. Make Syrup.

6 cups white vinegar to 8 cups sugar

2 tblsp celery seed } Put these in a couple of
2 tblsp whole all spice } thicknesses of cheesecloth
3 sticks cinnamon } and discard when finished.

Bring to a boil and add green food colouring. Pour syrup over cucumbers.
Let stand three days. EACH DAY drain off syrup, BOIL, and pour back over (add food colouring if desired).

On 9th day drain syrup from cucumbers. Heat syrup again. Discard cheesecloth bag. Put cukes in Mason jars and pour in the hot syrup, seal the jars.

Yield = 7-500 ml jars


Bread and Butter Pickles

12 cucumbers (6 quart basket)
2 Lrg. onions
Slice cucumbers and onions ¼ inch thick Sprinkle with salt.
Let stand two hours- Drain
3 cups vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
3 Tbs. mustard seed
1tsp. Turmeric
Put in kettle and dissolve. Add drained cucumbers and onion. Cook until almost boiling. Put in sterile jars and seal.
Yield 6- 500ml. jars


Dill Pickles

6 Qt. basket dill cucumbers, washed.
Dill weed
Garlic cloves
Pickling salt
Vinegar
Calcium chloride
Ice

Brine
2 cups vinegar
10 cups water
3/4 cup salt
1 tsp. calcium chloride
1 tsp Turmeric

Soak the cucumbers in ice water for at least 2 hrs but not longer than 6.
Place a bunch of dill in a quart jar, and a clove of garlic.
Pack in the cucumbers. Top with more dill weed, another garlic clove .
Fill jar with boiling brine, and seal. Let sit for 8 weeks before using.

Yield = 6 Qt. jars
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Postby saucisson » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:59 am

johnfb wrote:
saucisson wrote:I pickled some whole cucumbers as a joke christmas before last and thy are still fine. I'll see If I can remember how I did it if you want me to John. I think I brined them before pickling them.


Yes Dave please, if you could think back it would be a great help, thanks


Ok, this is from memory as it seems I didn't write it down..

I made up a brine:

1000gm Water
150gm Salt
(150gm Sugar?)

I soaked the cucumbers whole in the brine for 3 days in the fridge, rinsed them off and poured over Sarsons spiced pickling vinegar.

And that was it :) I'm not too sure whether I used sugar or not so let's call that optional...

I used two 3 litre Plastic Cider bottles as a vessel. I cut the top of one where it started to curve, placed the cucumbers inside, then cut the top third off the other and attached it to the other with Duck Tape to give a taller bottle with the cucumbers sealed in side, with a screw lid on top to introduce the liquids.
Curing is not an exact science... So it's not a sin to bin.

Great hams, from little acorns grow...
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Postby NCPaul » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:21 pm

A recipe that requires the use of Duck Tape. :D
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:11 pm

I may be discovering the hot water here, but I use a starter (Caldwell culture from The Sausage Maker) and my sauerkraut and cucumbers get ready and crunchy in 7 days.
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Postby saucisson » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:05 pm

Sounds good Massimo... Do you have a recipe?
Curing is not an exact science... So it's not a sin to bin.

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Postby johnfb » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:49 pm

saucisson wrote:
johnfb wrote:
saucisson wrote:I pickled some whole cucumbers as a joke christmas before last and thy are still fine. I'll see If I can remember how I did it if you want me to John. I think I brined them before pickling them.


Yes Dave please, if you could think back it would be a great help, thanks


Ok, this is from memory as it seems I didn't write it down..

I made up a brine:

1000gm Water
150gm Salt
(150gm Sugar?)

I soaked the cucumbers whole in the brine for 3 days in the fridge, rinsed them off and poured over Sarsons spiced pickling vinegar.

And that was it :) I'm not too sure whether I used sugar or not so let's call that optional...

I used two 3 litre Plastic Cider bottles as a vessel. I cut the top of one where it started to curve, placed the cucumbers inside, then cut the top third off the other and attached it to the other with Duck Tape to give a taller bottle with the cucumbers sealed in side, with a screw lid on top to introduce the liquids.



Thanks Dave
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Postby Ianinfrance » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:56 pm

When I salt my gherkins, I de-hair them (in a pillowslip in the washing machine cold wool no products) dry them as best I can - salad spinner. The I put them into an enormous s/s bowl with coarse sea salt at the rate of about 540 to 75 g salt per kilo. Toss well and leave 24 hours tossing from time to time. Rinse well, spin dry again and then pack into jars. Here's the exact recipe I use.
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Postby grisell » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:41 pm

That sounds nice, Ian. I might try it if I can ever find gherkins... :(

Here is a delicious old French recipe for cornichons without sugar that I unfortunately have been able to try only once, since it's very hard to find really small gherkins if you don't grow them yourself. The recipe works quite well with a little larger gherkins, too, though. Very crunchy and they will be fine for years. Note: The recipe contains some alcohol.

1 kg small gherkins
600 g sea salt
60 small pickling onions (or 10 échalotes)
50 g fresh tarragon
1 small sprig of thyme
2-3 red chili peppers, slivered
1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 small head fresh fennel, sliced
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ litre vinegar of good quality
300 ml water
½ bottle (35 cl) Cognac (or brandy)

Wash and scrape the gherkins thoroughly. Bring vinegar and water to a boil (don't know why that should be necessary, but the recipe says so). Let cool and add the Cognac. Layer the gherkins with salt and let stand for 8 hours. Wipe dry but do not rinse (discard the salt). Put gherkins and everything else in sterilised glass jars and pour the liquid over them. Add more vinegar and water if necessary to cover the gherkins. Ready to eat in one week, lasts indefinitely if refrigerated.

The recipe also states that the best way to serve them is to bring them to a boil in their liquid just before serving.
Last edited by grisell on Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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