Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Peppered Pickles..


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! It’s all pickles all the time around here at the moment. It’s a great way to experiment with flavours with very little effort. I love classic cucumber pickles. I am the only one at home who does. It’s okay. I eat enough of them for both of us. This recipe is adapted from one given to me by the lovely Nic Murray. Who is incidentally now my boss. I added chillies. Natch. My first attempt didn’t come out very spicy at all – the pickle juice dulls the heat. So you may need to experiment a couple of times if they don’t come out hot enough for you. Pickles are super easy – just be careful not to shock the jars with major heat changes as they can break. I have only ever had problems with one brand of jar with this but we should be careful always.

Wash the cucumbers and trim off any stalky bits at either end. Cut into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) slices. I do mine on an angle because I like them that way.

Sprinkle the salt over the cucumber slices.

Toss to distribute the salt all over all the slices. Transfer them to a colander or sieve to drain away excess water. Leave them for 2 hours. If you get distracted and it’s a bit longer don’t worry.

The cucumbers will have gone all bendy. This is good. Tip the slices out onto some paper towels and pat them dry.

Put a folded teatowel in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add the jars, seals and bands. Cover with cold or warm (not hot) water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Make sure the jars aren’t touching each other. Turn the heat off and leave the jars in the water.

While the jars are sterilising, heat the vinegar, sugar, spices, lemon peel and chillies in a medium saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the liquid to a simmer.

Add the sliced cucumbers. Bring it all back to a simmer and cook for 30 seconds. No more. As soon as they hit the liquid the slices will start to lose their bright green-ness.

Turn off the heat. Get the hot jars out of their saucepan and place them on a folded towel. Using tongs, transfer all the cucumber slices to the warm jars.

Pour the liquid over the slices to cover. Top the liquid up to 1/2 inch from the top of the jars. You might have a bit too much juice. Better than too little.

Carefully top with the seals and screw down the band until they are fingertip tight. Leave the jars to cool to room temperature.

As they cool, test the bands and screw down a bit further if they need it. Leave the pickles for at least a week before tucking in. Then go to town.

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Peppered Pickles


Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 10 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : 2 x pint jars

Classic cucumber pickles jazzed up with a spot of heat.

Ingredients:

  • 600 to 700 grams small cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons fine salt
  • 1 + 1/2 cups (375 mls) apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 inch strip of lemon peel, finely sliced
  • 2 rocoto chilli peppers, deseeded and finely sliced

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Sieve
  • Medium saucepan
  • 2 x pint preserving jars or 4 x 1 cup jars
  • Large saucepan to sterilise the jars
  • paper towels

Directions:

Wash the cucumbers and trim off any stalky bits at either end. Cut into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) slices. I do mine on an angle because I like them that way.

Sprinkle the salt over the cucumber slices.

Toss to distribute the salt all over all the slices. Transfer them to a colander or sieve to drain away excess water. Leave them for 2 hours. If you get distracted and it’s a bit longer don’t worry.

The cucumbers will have gone all bendy. This is good. Tip the slices out onto some paper towels and pat them dry.

Put a folded teatowel in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add the jars, seals and bands. Cover with cold or warm (not hot) water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Make sure the jars aren’t touching each other. Turn the heat off and leave the jars in the water.

While the jars are sterilising, heat the vinegar, sugar, spices, lemon peel and chillies in a medium saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the liquid to a simmer.

Add the sliced cucumbers. Bring it all back to a simmer and cook for 30 seconds. No more. As soon as they hit the liquid the slices will start to lose their bright green-ness.

Turn off the heat. Get the hot jars out of their saucepan and place them on a folded towel.

Using tongs, transfer all the cucumber slices to the warm jars.

Pour the liquid over the slices to cover. Top the liquid up to 1/2 inch from the top of the jars. You might have a bit too much juice. Better than too little.

Carefully top with the seals and screw down the band until they are fingertip tight. Leave the jars to cool to room temperature.

As they cool, test the bands and screw down a bit further if they need it. Leave the pickles for at least a week before tucking in. Then go to town.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Scale this recipe at will. I am rapidly finding that this is not enough for me. ONE PERSON. Next time I am making double.
  • If you don’t like chillies you can leave them out.
  • Experiment with sweetness – the acidity is what keeps pickles from spoiling, so if your first batch is a little too sweet or sour then adjust the sugar by a few tablespoons the next time.

 – Once sealed, these pickles can be stored in the pantry for 6 months, once opened store in the fridge – 

Adapted from the glorious Nic Murray’s personal collection.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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