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Martyn Catanach

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10 hours ago, Ian Dodds said:

I've got some outdoor cucumber that I need to remove from the plant very soon. I would normally peel them as they have a spikes on the skin. Can I pickle them still if so how ?

Yes they can still be pickled so long as they are still firm. There are several methods for "pickling" and they all give slightly different end products and storage times.

If the skins are very spiky then use a clean coarse scouring pad to remove them without taking off too much of the skin. If the skins are thick and tough then it is usually better to peel them.

There are quite a few recipes online which will give you some ideas for any additional flavourings. The most common though are Dill seeds, mustard seeds and garlic.

When using a brine that does not require the brine and cucumbers to be heated then you will need to keep the pickles refrigerated and eat them within a few weeks. Recipes that involve heat treating will usually last chilled for several months. Fermenting the pickles will also help prolong the storage times.

Here is a recipe for fermented cucumbers that works well.

You need to decide whether you want round slices, have them quartered lengthways or kept whole. Looking at the size of yours I think they would need to be sliced or quartered. I prefer the quartered pickles as they retain more texture.

100 g of cooking or sea salt (no iodine or anti caking agent)
2 litres of water
1 large onion, sliced
25 g whole yellow mustard seeds
10 g Dill seeds

  • Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water. You may not require to use all of this brine.
  • Cut off the blossom end of cucumbers and then quarter the cucumbers lengthways. 
  • Place the cucumbers and onion slices in a large glass jar.
  • Sprinkle over the mustard and dill seeds
  • Pour over enough brine to just cover the cucumbers
  • Place a large freezer bag inside the jar (over the cucumbers) and fill the bag with the remaining brine. Ensure that there are no air pockets underneath the bag. Seal the bag.
  • Store at room temperature and within 3 days you should see tiny bubbles in the brine as the fermentation begins. If you see a scum forming on top of the brine skim this off daily and wash the outside of the bag to remove any scum that is sticking.
  • After 2-3 weeks the bubbles will stop and the pickles will taste refreshingly sour.
  • Transfer to smaller jars and top these up with the brine from the bag. Screw on the lids
  • This will last in the refrigerator for about 4 months

If you want them to last longer in the refrigerator you can then heat treat them.

  • Strain the cucumbers through a kitchen sieve. Retain the brine and heat in a non-aluminium pan.Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms. Allow the brine to cool
  • Rinse the strained pickles and onions in cold water and remove and discard the spices
  • Pack the pickles into smaller jars and optionally add more fresh spices. Cover with the cooled brine and seal the jars.

If you want to store them in the pantry and not in the refrigerator then there is a final step that needs to be taken

  • Place the filled jars with the lids loosely fitted in a large hot water pan on the stove.The water should be about 3/4 of the way up the jars. You can then do one of the following
    - Bring the water to the boil and leave the jars in for 10 minutes
    - Bring the water up to 85 C and pasteurise the jars for 30minutes
  • Remove the jars from the water bath, tighten the lids and allow to cool.
  • When cool, store in a cool, dark, dry place.
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Sorry Liomer - I accidentally deleted your post asking about the recipe I used for the Chillies

The recipe was quick and simple


3-4 cups chilli peppers - you can use any type of pepper.
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons pickling salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Pickling Directions

Wash and dry the chilli peppers. Cut the large ones up into small chunks and slice the smaller ones.
Pack them all into  sterilised jars.
To a large non-aluminium pot, add vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, salt and sugar. Stir.
Heat and bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 2 minutes.
Pour the hot brine into the jars, over the peppers, and seal with a tight lid. Cool and refrigerate.
Let the peppers sit a few weeks before using so they can get nicely pickled, though they are fine to eat right away.


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18 hours ago, Wade said:

Sorry Liomer - I accidentally deleted your post asking about the recipe I used for the Chillies


Apology accepted, Wade!!  I must admit I did wonder - even checked my armpits to see if I was that offensive!

Anyway, many thanks for the recipe.

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IMG_1181.thumb.JPG.caaca652c00d385bbed00e10c67997f1.JPGI've now had a go at pickling my cucumbers I took a little bit of advice from everywhere. I just used distilled malt vinegar and pre mixed pickling herds and spices boiled up and cooled, 4 small cucumbers ,1 large onion and 3 garlic cloves. Question is where do I leave it for a few weeks before I try it. ( phone there for scale )

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  • 1 month later...

Some of this years chillies being pickled...

Chillies washed and chopped. Spices ready.


Layered in jar and brine added


Ziplock bag filled with brine in the neck of the jar acts as an airtight bung but it also lets the fermentation gasses escape.


After 2 weeks you can see the CO2 bubble to the surface as you gently rock the jar. The smell of the naturally formed vinegar is wonderful too


Another week to go before I stop the ferment and then the chillies will be moved to smaller jars ready for eating...

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