A kitchen cupboard stacked with delicious jars of home made preserves is a very rewarding sight, but these days its so easy to get a bottle off the supermarket shelf, and there are so many to choose from, so why make them yourself. Originally it was a necessity to provide food for the lean months, but today there are many reasons why we should preserve foods. It is an economical way of using seasonal food that is cheap, and for those who grow their own , its a way of making good use of the excess.Its also very satisfying, and you can try out unusual flavour combinations that are unlikely to be found in a commercial product.
Pickles are made from lightly cooked or raw fruit or vegetables, which are preserved in vinegar with the addition of sugar, salt and pickling spices. Remember to sterilize your jars by placing them in a large pot with boiling water .
This sweet and sour cucumber pickle is great with cheese and biscuits or on your favourite burger.
Sweet and Sour Cucumber Pickle
Recipe type: Preserves and Vegetarian
Serves: 2 Bottles
This quantity makes 2 large jars of pickles. You can half the quantity if you like
- 6 English cucumbers or 8 medium cucumbers
- 10 small pickling onions
- 1 green and 1 red chilli (jalapeno) seeds removed
- 2 Tblsp salt
- ice cubes
- Pickling liquid
- 800g sugar
- 2 teaspoons Mustard seeds
- 6-8 cloves
- 2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 5 cups white spirit or grape vinegar
- Finely sliced cucumber. I use a mandoline for best results.
- Cut onions in half and slice finely.
- Slice chilies and remove all seeds. You can use less chili if you dont like it hot
- Add the salt to this mix.
- Combine in a large bowl and cover with ice. Use lots of ice - you want the water to cover the cucumber mixture once its melted.
- Set aside for about 3 hours.
- In a saucepan add all the pickling ingredients.
- After 3 hours press out as much water as possible from the cucumber and add the cucumber mix to the saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, and once boiled, switch the stove off and allow the mixture to cool.
- Spoon into sterilized bottles and seal.