I've been quite remiss in getting this recipe to my friend Hilary. I made a jar of these in the same manner that I usually come into making pickles; I bought too many of a certain kind of vegetable and had to do something before they went off. Refrigerator pickles are quite easy because they aren't meant to be shelf-stable, so you don't have to go through the palaver of sterilizing jars, which is always the trickiest thing about pickles. Without that bit, it's simply a case of slicing veggies, dissolving sugar, and shoving a few things into a jar. It's about 10 minutes of work and presto, pickles! They will keep in the fridge for weeks, but I tend to eat these pickles much more quickly than that.
A mistake I've always made with cucumber pickles is adding too much of this stuff called pickling spice, which overwhelms that taste of the cucumbers entirely. This time, I managed to pull back from this impulse and only added a teeny pinch. I rounded it off with more coriander seeds but that was it. I really wanted the taste of the dill to be the strongest flavor and to also taste the actual cucumbers themselves. Goes very well with sharp cheese and grilled sourdough.
Crunchy Dill Pickles
Measurements will depend on the number of veggies you wish to pickle, if you have a large jar, just multiply the amount of liquid you need in order to fill the jar(s). Sliced garlic would be very good in this, as well as sliced chili for a spicy version.
- Roughly a dozen small english cucumbers, sliced into halves or quarters
- 1 cup of packed dill leaves, stems removed and roughly
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Dissolve the sugar in the water and vinegar with the spices. Simmer gently until all the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is quite hot. Pack a layer of pickles, standing vertical in the jar, then a layer of onions and dill, and repeat until the jar is completely full. Ladle the hot liquid into the jar until the cucumbers are totally covered. Cap and place in fridge. The pickles will be ready to eat in two to three days.