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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. Thankyou for sharing this recipe. Re the vinegar, does the quality matter?
    Secondly could I use gherkins instead if cucumbers? Thankyou so much.

  2. Christine Potter

    I made the award winning cucumber pickle earlier this year, we tasted it before putting it in jars and it tasted really nice. We have delayed opening up one of our jars as my husband isn’t allowed to eat spicy or vinegary foods due to a stomach lining problem. However we have had some today in a cheese salad bap and it was absolutely lovely. My husband said it was similar to the stuff you get in a Big Mac but much better. I had some of the vinegar mixture left over and decided to use it in a tomato and apple chutney along with some cider vinegar which added a lovely flavour. I will definitely make this again next year if we have an abundance of cucumbers.

  3. Christine Potter

    Hi just found the recipe for the prize winning cucumber chutney. I would like to read and possibly make the American recipe but can’t seem to access it. Could you kindly let me know what it is or how I can find it please. Many thanks in anticipation Christine Potter

  4. Valerie Willis

    Too much liquid.what can I do with it.

    • Jessie Allaway

      I always find I have too much liquid. I just keep the excess in a jar in the fridge and use it for a second batch even though it has been “reduced”. Has worked out fine so far, but maybe we should start off with smaller quantity of liquid in the first place. I keep forgetting to do that LOL.

      • Fiona Nevile

        Good idea! I haven’t made these pickles for ages but next time tat I do I will check the liquid. The one that I want to repeat this years is the American one.

  5. We love pickles and chutneys but this is one of the most delicious!! If not the best. Such a wonderful way to use the glut of cucumbers we have grown. Many thanks

  6. This has become our Xmas pickle special. Xmas is not complete without it. I have to make large quantities for friends too! Simply the best cucumber pickle ever!! Thank you.

  7. This is delicious. Created 6 October … eaten 13 November. So good I am making another batch today. I used yellow mustard seeds.

  8. Maria Butterworth

    Not a review as such just some info that I thought might help. 4 x 10″ cucumbers and 3 medium onions provided 5 x 350 ml jars. There was not enough brine for this (I guess it depends how large the large cucumbers are!) so I doubled up on it. I can’t get white vinegar here so I used apple vinegar. So, I basically doubled up on the brine ingredients (minus cloves as I detest them). Tasted one as I canned them and they tasted really nice. I will try and review in a month’s time when they’re ready to eat!

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