Do you have the patience to wait for these to get good and sour? Let’s see! This is the time of year to get small pickling cucumbers from farm stands and farmers’ markets, but no worries if you can’t—just slice up a big cucumber or two and make pickles from that. They’ll still be delicious.
Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Days
Makes: 2 Quarts
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Medium-sized pot
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- Large glass or nonreactive metal bowl
- Small plate
- 5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 1½ pounds small pickling cucumbers or 2 seedless English cucumbers (the big kind wrapped in plastic) or 2 (14-ounce) packages of baby cucumbers
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 large dill sprigs
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Choose a small plate that will fit inside the bowl and press on the vegetables.
- To make the brine: Put the water, salt, and vinegar in the pot, put the pot on the stove, and turn the heat to medium. When the mixture boils (you’ll know it’s boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface), turn the heat off and set aside to cool.
- Wash the cucumbers, trim off the blossom ends (that’s the end opposite where it grows on the stem), and, if you’re using large or baby cucumbers, cut them into ¼-inch slices. If you’re using pickling cucumbers leave them whole.
- Put the cucumbers, garlic, dill and peppercorns in the bowl. Add the cooled brine and stir well.
- Lay a plate over the top of the cucumbers. Leave the cucumbers for 2 or 3 days, until they are as sour as you like them.
- Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Did You Know?
The sour taste of the pickles comes from the added vinegar as well as the natural process of fermentation, which uses healthy bacteria to convert the vegetable’s own sugar into tart lactic acid.