I have a weakness for all varieties of pickles, especially the sour ones you can buy out of old-fashioned barrels. Pickles are a summer essential and pair perfectly with deli sandwiches and picnic food straight from the grill. At the beginning of August my mum always makes up a huge batch of bread and butter pickles and cans them. While these pickles are incredible, it takes until at least Thanksgiving for them to be ready to eat. This past weekend I decided to make a batch of icebox pickles. Instead of three months for the flavors to marry it only takes 48 hours for pickled perfection. The key to amazing pickles: use pickling cucumbers and a mandolin for an even cut.
• 2.5 pounds pickling cucumbers (4-6 inches)
• 1/4 cup kosher salt
• 3 medium onions (or one large), thinly sliced
• 1.5 cups vinegar
• 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon whole mustard seed
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground clove
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1. Slice cucumbers into thin (even) slices and place in a large bowl. Toss cucumbers with kosher salt and completely cover with ice; set aside for 2 hours.
2. Pour cucumber, ice and salt mixture into a colander and rinse thoroughly to remove the salt.
3. Add vinegar and sugar to a large pot and bring to a boil; stirring continuously to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and stir in mustard seed, cinnamon, turmeric, ground clove, nutmeg and celery seed.
4. Place cucumbers and onions into the pot and bring to a boil, as soon you see a small bubble remove from the heat.
5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cucumbers and onions evenly into clean jars of your choice. Spoon the mixture from the pot into the jars. Allow to cool before you cover and refrigerate.
Note: These pickles take 48 to get their flavor. The longer they sit in the refrigerator the better the flavor will be. Pickles must stay refrigerated and will last 6-8 months.