Refrigerator Pickles

2 Aug

Today has been rainy and gloomy, the baby has been cranky, and I’ve been in a funk. The one good thing I accomplished today is making a batch of refrigerator pickles. (Remember those cute little cucumbers I mentioned I got at the farm yesterday?)

The whole process was very serendipitous. I was winging it on the amounts and somehow managed to have just the right amount of cucumbers and brine to fill the only four clean and empty jars I found  in the house. That never happens. Usually I’m scrambling to make more brine halfway through because I’ve run out or I’m searching for more jars because I have too many veggies cut up and I have to do SOMETHING with them.

Refrigerator pickles don’t need to be processed in boiling water or a pressure cooker canner. They are quick and easy to make. Brine + veggies + a couple days in the fridge = pickles! For this batch I made sweet pickles. (There are plenty of recipes out there for dills too so don’t fret if sweet pickles aren’t your thing.) My recipe is simple. You take equal parts water, cider vinegar, and sugar and set them to simmer on the stove making sure that the sugar dissolves. Put some pickling spices in a mesh tea ball or some cheese cloth and add to the liquid. Let your brine simmer for about 15 minutes. You want it to get really infused with the flavor of the pickling spices. You can buy pre-mixed pickling spices or make your own blend. For sweet pickles I like a combination of allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. While your brine is simmering sterilize some jars in boiling water and chop up your vegetables. For this batch, I used pickling cucumbers and red onion but you could use any vegetable you fancy. Fill the sterilized jars with your veggies and pour the brine into the jars. Use a ladle and/or a funnel. Pouring the brine straight from the pot is messy! I take a little rubber spatula and run it around the edges of the jar to get the air bubbles out. Seal up the jars. Find a cozy place for them to hang out in the the fridge for a couple of days. And voila! You’re done! Tasty refrigerator pickles will be yours to enjoy for up to a month.

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5 Responses to “Refrigerator Pickles”

  1. seekingsibling August 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    I’m totally going to have to try this. Cucumbers going crazy+love of pickles=PERFECT!

  2. ixel August 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    sounds easy! i know you used a ladle to get the brine in the jars 🙂

    • Erica August 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

      I used the special wedding ladle and thought of you!

  3. Kate August 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Erica – I was inspired by your refrigerator pickles and decided to try my hand at a non-sweet variety. We tested them today and they turned out pretty good. I layered the cukes in a jar with slices of garlic. The brine I used was 3/4 distilled white vinegar and 4 tablespoons kosher salt to 1 quart boiled water. I added peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and cloves and ladled the mixture over the cucumbers. If I had dill I think that layered with the cukes and garlic would have been really good too. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Erica August 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

      So glad you felt inspired! Your recipe sounds really good. My pickles keep getting better the longer they sit.

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