Sent by newest members Bill and Chris Crease. (Bill increases the heat with an extra chilli)
For crisp pickles select fresh, good quality cucumbers, slightly immature and pickle them immediately.
- 2.25 kg (4 ½ lbs) cucumbers sliced 5mm (1/4 in.) thick
- 500 g (1 lb) onions, thinly sliced
- 125 g (4 oz) salt
- Ice cubes
- 750 g- 1kg (1 ½ – 2 lb) sugar
- 1.25 ltr (2 ¼ pints) cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons brown mustard seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- 2 red chillies
In a large bowl, mix together the cucumbers, onions and salt. Cover with cold water and ice cubes and leave for 3 hours. Drain, rinse well, and drain again. Set aside.
About 30 minutes before the cucumber mixture is ready, combine in a large saucepan the sugar, vinegar, fennel, mustard seeds and turmeric. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until very syrupy, stirring often.
Meanwhile sterilise the jars and lids. Add cucumbers and onions to the syrup. Heat but do not boil, stirring occasionally.
Ladle the hot mixture into hot jars leaving 1 cm (½ in) head space. Using a spatula, release any air bubbles from around the side and bottom of each jar. Wipe and close the jars. Store in a cool dark cupboard; when a jar is opened, store it in the fridge.
Acknowledgements – “The Country Kitchen Chutneys and Pickles” by Barbara Beckett