Before buying pickles from the supermarket, consider making your own extra crisp kosher pickled gherkins. Making your own pickles is inexpensive and will save you money over the years. Homemade kosher pickled gherkins also make great gifts for friends and family members. Add your favourite spices and seasonings to the pickles to make them suit your tastes. Patience is required when making kosher pickles. Bottling the pickles won't take a lot of time, but the pickling process will take two to three weeks.
Things you need
- 1.8 kg (4 lb) pickling cucumbers
- 500 ml (2 cups) white vinegar
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) water
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) kosher salt
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) pickling spices
- Large pan
- Large garlic cloves
- Jalapeno chillies
- Bay leafs
- Grape leafs
- Fresh dill weed
- Large pickling jars
Choose firm and ripe pickling cucumbers. The cucumbers used for pickling need to have plenty of warts and they should be bright green in colour.
Wash the pickling cucumbers thoroughly. Remove any excess dirt and debris from the cucumbers, and lay them on a paper towel to dry.
Decide to leave your pickles whole or cut them into halves. Depending on how large your pickling jars are, it may be necessary to cut the cucumbers lengthwise. Do this step before preparing the pickling solution so that the cucumbers are ready to be soaked in the brine solution.
Add the vinegar, water, salt and pickling spices to a large pan. Bring the brine solution to a rapid boil.
Place the remaining ingredients in the canning jars. Add one large, peeled garlic clove, one chopped jalapeno chilli, one bay leaf, one head of fresh dill weed and one grape leaf. The grape leaves are what makes the pickles extra crisp.
Pack the pickling cucumbers into the jars. Do not force the cucumbers into the jar, but ensure that they fit tightly into each jar.
Pour the brine into the sterilised pickling jars. Fill the jars with the brine, leaving only 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) of space at the top.
Place the jar lids on the jars. Secure them with the pickling jar rings.
Shake the jars to remove any leftover spices. Sit the kosher pickles out of sunlight in a cool and dry environment. Let the pickles ferment for at least seven days.
Taste the pickles after seven days have passed. Continue to pickle them for another seven days until they reach your desired tastes.
Refrigerate the pickles after opening.
Tips and warnings
- Sterilise canning jars by placing them in your dishwasher and washing.
- If you want to store the pickles for two years, seal the jars in a pot of water. Set the jars vertically in a large pot of boiling water. Once you hear the lids make a "popping" noise, they are sealed. Store them in a dark and dry environment.
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