Don’t queue up for pickled gherkins, make them yourself with this pickling recipe! Here’s our fruity tangy little twist on the traditional with the addition of dried cranberries. This jar of good stuff takes inspiration from bygone times of self sufficient necessity in time of rationing. Sure, bombs raining down on anyone is a major bloody pain, but I consider hours spent toiling the soil instead of trawling the flourescent ailses time well spent.
Like most pickling recipes this is quick and easy, and makes a cucumber that usually lasts 3 days, last several weeks. This is delicious as a cheeky fork mouthful when no one is looking, tossed besides a salad, or heaped with grilled meats.
This recipe will fill a 0.35 litre jar. I find Kilner ones the most reliable and best for drawing faces on digitally which may or may not be important to you as it clearly really is to me.
- 500g cucumber
- lots of generous grinds of salt or large sprinkles of coarse sea salt
- enough dried cranberries to make 2 small layers around inside edge of jar
- 3 little fresh/dried bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (about 12 I reckon)
- small handful fresh mint (I had spearmint in garden to hand for this)
- about 5 cloves
- pinch of chilli flakes
- 220 ml white wine vinegar
- 20g white sugar
Score the cucumber lengthways with a fork to make it look vaguely more interesting when sliced. It’s just a little quick trick to crank up that aesthetic ahhhhh that looks nice feeling a notch. Now slice the cucumber into standard circle shapes. Next, layer these cucumber bits with the salt in a vessel, and leave overnight. Now go clear up after the kids. Next day, rinse and drain these slices.
To make the pickling vinegar, add the spices to a pan on low heat until you hear light cracking and smell the aromas mixing. Pour in the vinegar and then the sugar which will dissolve after a few stirs.
Fill the jar with a layer of cucumber then a ring of cranberries around the inside of a jar to give as per the photo below. Then repeat again but top with a final layer of cucumber. Finish with a topping of the chopped mint and pour over the warm pickling liquid you just made.
The pickling recipe in this little jar will be good to go, with the juice soaked right through those cucumbers and plumped up cranberries in about two weeks.