I had a few cucumbers laying around and didn’t want to wait for more to ripen. Here’s what a micro-batch of sweet and sour pickles looks like!
What you’ll need:
16 oz jar. That’s a teeny jar.
1 measuring teaspoon. That’s a teeny spoon.
1 measuring tablespoon.
1 liquid measuring cup.
1 cutting board.
1 sharp knife. If you don’t have one, a machete will suffice.
1 cucumber (5-6 inches)
1.5 cups filtered water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon (plus one pinch) celery seed
1 teaspoon diced sweet onion
1 pinch of red pepper flakes (or substitute with 1 tsp red bell pepper, diced)
1/2 teaspoon pickling salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
Liquid fills an 8 ounce jar, ingredients included. Cucumbers only took up half the jar.
First things first, wash your cucumbers and slice into 1/4 inch thick chips. Afterwards, dice up your onion. Place cucumber into a plastic bag or onto a plate. Pour some salt over them – kosher or pickling salt work just fine. Make sure to coat both sides of the chips. This will pull out moisture and ensure they remain super crunchy even after the hot brine “cooks” them. Do the same with the onion in/on a separate bag or plate, but only let sit for 5 minutes.
While they sit, add the rest of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Stir the liquid until the sugar and salt are dissolved. After five minutes have passed, rinse the salt off your diced onion and add that to the brine. Place on high heat and let it come to a boil. When the liquid boils, let it go for 5 minutes or until the liquid begins to smell sweet and delicious. Believe me, it will. While the liquid is coming to a boil, the cucumbers’ ten minutes should be up, so rinse the salt off your cucumber chips and dry them off with a clean paper towel. You can also shake-dry if you want. Place the cucumber slices into your jar. When the boiling brines’ 5 minutes are up, your brine is ready. Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Pour that brine over the cucumbers. Woo! The easy part is done.
Now you wait (Boo!) for the brine to cool down; the jar should only be warm to the touch instead of scalding. This could take a few hours or it could take five. It depends on where you are, size of your jar, and how cool or warm it is in the room. When the jar gets there, put it in the fridge overnight. They might even be ready the next morning. Mine were ready two days later. Either way, it won’t hurt you to try them just to see. Leaving them longer will make them even more delicious, if that’s even possible!