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Best cucumber pickle recipes. Special Awards.

Photo of cucumber pickle

Photo of award winning cucumber pickle

Jo’s Award Winning Cucumber Pickle Recipe is at the bottom of this article.

My friend Jo is great. She shares her recipes. Even her special ones.Three years ago she told me she had a great recipe for cucumber chutney, if we ever have a glut. I’d just given her a cucumber, one of our bumper “count on one hand” cucumber harvest, so I didn’t trouble her for the recipe at the time.

This year, everything changed. I noticed that we had masses of flowers on our greenhouse cucumbers. Tiny dolls house sized cucumbers followed and they flourished. We were so pleased. By August we finally had a glut. I was jubilant as I dialled Jo’s number.We have made four large batches of different cucumber pickle/chutney recipes this summer.

Some were described as chutney and some as pickles. We thought that all were more of a pickle than traditional chutney. In each one, the vegetables float in the vinegar.Pickles need only a month to mature, compared to the two month (plus) wait for traditional chutney. The month was up today, and along with a recipe request last night, we decided to spend spent a happy half hour tasting them all.

The two that received The Cottage Smallholder Award were Jo’s Cucumber Chutney (England) and Granny’s Very Sweet Cucumber Pickle (United States). I found the latter on the Internet.

Jo’s cucumber pickle has a great depth of flavour and texture. Very good with cheese but subtle and piquant enough to serve with a really rich chicken liver pate, or chopped fine and added to a salad or sauce. It’s typically European in its style and taste. We loved it and Danny pleaded with me not to give any more away.

Granny’s pickle is a totally different animal; sweet and sour and crunchy. Although I’ve only been to the States a couple of times, I know that this pickle is quintessentially America at it’s best. This would be a great dolloped on Aberdeen Angus burgers or served on the side with thick juicy slices of smoked ham. Perfect in rare beef sandwiches, along with the mayo and mustard. No wonder Granny’s grand son-in-law uses 200 cucumbers a year making this recipe. We have pondered over this fact. Does he bulk buy or does he grow them all?

Granny’s grandson-in-law, Jim Roche, works in the computer science department of Rochester University. click this link for his recipe;

Jo’s Award Winning Cucumber Pickle Recipe
Recipe Type: Pickles and Preserves
Author: Jo
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: Many
Ingredients
  • 4 large cucumbers
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 oz/50g of salt
  • ** For the syrup **
  • 1pt/570ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1lb/454g of soft brown sugar
  • ½ level tsp of ground turmeric
  • ½ level tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp of mustard seed (we used black)
  • (Being independent, we also put a large sprig of wild fennel in each jar when we added the vegetables).
Instructions
  1. Wash cucumber and slice very thinly (we used Danny’s natty Japanese mandolin for slicing the cucumber and the onion).
  2. Peel the onions and slice very thinly.
  3. In a large bowl, layer cucumbers and onions with a sprinkling of salt in between the layers. Weigh down with a plate.
  4. Stand for three hours.
  5. After three hours, pour away the liquid and rinse the cucumbers and onions under running water twice.
  6. Put your jars in the oven to sterilised them. (How do I sterilise jars? See tricks and tips below).
  7. Put vinegar, sugar and spices in a stainless steel or non stick saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Add the cucumber and onions to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  9. Boil syrup and vegetables for a couple of minutes. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  10. Reduce remaining syrup for 15-20 min.
  11. After ten minutes or so, gently fill warm, sterilised jars with vegetables. Don’t press down.
  12. When syrup has reduced, pour over vegetables in jars.
  13. Cover immediately with plastic lined, sterilised metal lids. (How do I sterilise lids? See tricks and tips below).
  14. When cold, label and store in a cool, dark place, away from damp.
Notes

Tricks and tips:

How do I sterilise jars and lids?
We collect jars all year round for our jelly, chutney and jam making sessions. I try to soak off labels and store the clean jars and metal plastic coated screw-top lids in an accessible place. The sterilising method that we used is simple. Just before making jam, jelly,’cheese’, chutney or pickles.I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. I set the temperature to 160c/140c for fan assisted. When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty and if there is vinegar in the jar, this can react badly with metal. I boil lids for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.

 


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63 Comments

  1. June Lusty

    Oh the joys of having too much produce!!! two edged sword. I have scoured my books and mags for a decent pickle receipe for cucs and this is the best and most yummy one I have found. Well done

  2. Sue Brown

    I also use coquette instead of cucumber . Works really well. Can’t tell the difference.

  3. I only have 4 plants in, am looking forward to the crop

    Will let you know what happens at Christmas time When I bottle them for presies for friends. Sounds grand. regards Lorraine

  4. This is a recipe from Delia Smith, copied almost word for word from her book! Perhaps she stole it from your friend…

  5. martin ansell

    This is a very nice recipe that my mother has bee using since 1986 when it was first published as part of Food Aid, submitted by Mrs S Mumford of Plymouth Devon

  6. Eleanor McCann

    I’ve made Jo’s pickle numerous times now since discovering this last year, & it’s wonderful. On my first attempt I realised I had run out of mustard seeds, so used kalonji (black onion or nigella) seeds, which worked so well that I have kept to that since, with occasionally an added sprinkle of mustard seeds. Yellow apple cucumbers make a great & very pretty variation, & white/ brown sugar or red/ white onions all work well – everyone who tastes it LOVES it & asks for the recipe.

  7. Have made two batches of this delicious pickle,the first I realised at the last moment I didn’t have brown sugar so used white.The second I made correctly with the brown sugar and to be honest the first batch looked so much prettier and I can’t tell the difference taste wise. So next year it’s white sugar all the way…also thought I’d use red onions to help make it really pretty.Christmas treats here they come….

  8. I’ve had the luck getting a jar of these pickled cucumbers from a friend. I really like it! Now I want to make my own batch.
    Can you tell me, how much are 4 large cucumbers roughly? I’d like to use smaller ones, not the ususal watery large salad-cucumbers.
    Greetings from Germany!

  9. In the UK we call Apple Cucumbers ‘Lemon Cucumbers’. No idea why the different name, but they can most certainly be used in the listed recipe…I used them last year and it was wonderful.

    Hope that helps

  10. I have just finished my first batch of pickled cucumbers. I use less sugar than listed cause I don’t have a sweet tooth. It’s a fabulous recipe though.

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