The Cottage Smallholder

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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
  • 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).
  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.

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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  1. how long does this pickle keep for ?

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Marion

    At least a year or so. Definitely worth making te American one too. Lovely wth coat meat or cheese.

  3. How long will Jo’s award pickle keep for? I’ve JUST picked 50 cucs about the only things that seem to have thriven this “summer”? HELP can’t bear waste and our geese are getting sick of them too! Friends avoid us/ but I do love pickling stuff ,just need to know will it last till Christmas /I’ll cuc them then as a cold turkey kit

  4. This is the first time ive done this recipe for pickled cucumbers and will be doing it again. Thanks. I will also be using tis site more often now that Ive found it.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Cucumbers etc

    Thanks for this link.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Lynda,

    I don’t have a recipe for pickled red cabbage. I had a quick look at Delia Online, usually a good starting point but drew a blank there too.

    Found one in the BBC website, a Mrs Beeton one, so should be good. Here is the link

    I’d be interested to hear how it turns out.

  7. Am hoping to have a go at the cucumber pickle but in the meatime wondered if you had a receipe for pickled red cabbage as i do seem to have a glut of these.

    Thank you

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Isabel, thanks for dropping by. Here is the link to Steve’s Chutney
    Happy Easter!

  9. isabel

    i would very much like your cuc and onion chut. recipe. my husband likes gardening and likes to pickle his own produce. isabel

  10. tractorfactorsteve

    i’ve had ‘tons’ of cucs this year (and last year, brag, brag!) and made lots of relish. what can you do with 30 jars of it though? there’s a limit to the no. of hot dogs you can eat. come sept and still more cucs kept coming, waiting in the fridge to be used for something. so thought i’d try them in a chutney. i wondered if they’d be too watery, but after a minimal salting they’ve made a beautiful tomato, cuc and onion chut. used up 3/4 of the glut too. want the recipe? it’s my own as haven’t found one elsewhere.

    • Shiennah Moncharo

      long ago…….
      could you forward your tomato cucumber and onion chutney please, have loads of all and need something NEW xx

      Many thanks
      Shiennah xx

    • Janice

      Saw your 2006 comment on a pickle recipe that you have a tomato, cuke and onion cutney recipe. Will you share?

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