“I’ve got a Pickle, I’ve got a Pickle, I’ve got a pickle, hey, hey, hey, hey!”
And you will too after giving this tasty recipe a go.
This year I’ve decided to give the gift of homemade goods. And these yummy pickles are up on the top of my list. They’re so easy to make and you can make them weeks, even months, in advance.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use pretty much any veggie you want, I even added a sliced up granny smith apple. You can mix up the spices to suit too. As long as you stick with your basics of peppercorn & garlic you can go crazy with the rest, within reason of course. So don’t feel restricted in using the set spices in the ingredients list.
Here are some basic tips to making your own customised pickling spice blend.
Basic Pickling Spices
A selection of the following spices can be your base spice mix, a pickle wouldn’t be a tasty pickle without a little spice to start it off.
Black Peppercorns: Adds a little heat
Crushed Garlic Clove: Gives it a nice aromatic flavour enhancing depth to your pickle
Red Chilli, Fresh of dried: Again, adds a little heat
Turmeric: Can add a nice earthy flavour to your pickle and that unmistakable yellowness to your pickle brine. I’m not a big fan of using turmeric so believe it is totally optional.
Once you’ve got your basics you can add some serious flavours using a selection of the following spices. These spices will give your pickle its unique character.
Allspice: mild, clove and cinnamon depth
Cinnamon: spicy, hot sweetness
Celery: fresh, green vegetal flavours
Mustard seed: aromatic spiciness
Coriander seed: floral, fruity spiciness resembling lime or orange
Bay leaf: warm, soft, aromatic spice flavour
Ginger: lemony, warm
Fennel seed: fruity, vegetal, warm
Fenugreek seed: rich, slightly nutty
Dill Seeds/Leaves: gives the classic taste you find in dill pickles (my personal favourite)
When using these spices choose one or more and add a pinch to 1/2 a teaspoon to your basic spice mix.
A Little Twist
If you really want to make your pickle stand out from the crowd add a small amount of one of these spices to your mix.
Chipotle pepper: Hot, smoky
Curry powder featuring red chillies, paprika and cumin: fiery, exotic
Star anise: sweet, mild
Onion flakes and garlic granules: flavour boosting
Cardamom pods/seeds: aromatic, penetrating
Lemon Skin: zesty, aromatic
Items You’ll Need:
- 1kg Baby Cucumbers
- 500g Baby Carrots
- 1cup Cooking Salt
- 2tbsp Pepper Corns
- 2tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 3/jar All Spice Berries
- 2tbsp Mustard Seeds
- 2/jar Cloves
- 2/jar Bay Leaves
- 1sprig/jar Fresh Dill
- 3 Garlic Cloves, squashed & halved
- 600ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 300ml White Wine Vinegar
- 200ml Water
- 200gr Sugar
- 6x Jars
- Wash veg & slice cucumbers in half.
- Put in bowl & toss with salt until fully covered. Cover with cling wrap & refrigerate over night.
- Put peppercorns, coriander seeds, & mustard seeds in a saucepan & heat until fragrant.
- Add vinegar's, water & sugar to the fragrant spices & bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile sterilise the jars.
- Remove the veg from the bowl & rinse the leftover salt off.
- Evenly distribute salted veg between the jars. Add the remaining spices, bay leaves & dill.
- Strain the vinegar mix. Keeping both vinegar & spices.
- Evenly distribute the spices to the jars & pour over hot vinegar before sealing while still hot.
- Keep in a cool dark spot for a month before using.
- Once open store in the fridge.
- You can use all sorts of veg with this recipe including cauliflower, radishes, capsicum, beans etc. I've even used apple & pear before, which went beautifully with some Camembert.
- Often people tell you to use only preserving jars. I've never had any issues with using your regular twist top jars. Unless I'm doing bulk preserves I don't see the point in going & buying a whole heap of jars when I can just reuse the ones I already have.