Pretty Good Spicy-Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
July 31, 2011
Yesterday was my fourth attempt at spicy-sweet refrigerator pickles. At this point, I’m thinking that it may be time to just accept the fact that I can make pretty good, but not quite outstanding pickles. These actually taste fairly good (albeit a little vinegary, but again – I really like vinegar), and I think they might do quite nicely as a small side to some dish where you want a bit of acidic counterpoint. I’ve eaten about 40 slices today, so I guess I find them fairly palatable. They are extremely easy to make, so you could definitely play around with the recipe until you get a taste that is right for you. These have a hint of heat to them, so you could increase the cayenne pepper if you want to kick that up, or leave it out entirely if you desire. Depending on how much you like vinegar, you can switch out some water for the vinegar or keep the amount I used. I think in order to make the pickles really crispy, you would need to use this magic ‘pickle crisp’ stuff I have read about on many sites, but have yet to actually discover in any grocery store in town. I don’t really mind these not being that crisp, but if you want yours crisper, you might want to do a more hardcore search than I did.
Spicy-Sweet Refrigerator Pickles – Attempt IV
3-4 cups pickling cucumbers, sliced
1 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole allspice
3/4 tsp cinnamon chips (or just a stick, broken up)
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
Pack the cucumbers into a deep glass bowl (vinegar can be reactive with metals). It’s ideal be able to fit small plate in the bowl to weigh down the vegetables so the pickling liquid covers them.
Combine all other ingredients in a saucepan or dutch oven (glass, ceramic, or something lined with teflon, silverstone or enamel – again, due to the vinegar), and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar, and boil for 1 minute. Pour over cucumbers, cover with a plate to ensure they are submerged in the liquid, and let cool to room temperature, about 40-50 minutes. Cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight.