Our cucumber plants have been producing well this year and we’ve surely been enjoying their wonderful fruit, especially since this means more Cucumber Corn Relish Salad, more Greek Veggie Pitas, and more pickles!
Making refrigerator pickles is uber easy! It only takes minutes of your time. And no store-bought “polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate, natural flavors, yellow 5-spiked” pickle can compare to these fantastically fresh homemade pickles! What’s more, these luscious pickles are even vinegar-free.
How do you make pickles without vinegar? Use lemon juice. You’ll love them!
These cool and crisp pickles taste amazin’. So if you don’t have a garden or belong to a CSA, stop by your local farmer’s market and pick up a peck o’ potential pickles.
Ready, set, crunchalicious!
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 4 small cucumbers (pickling cucumbers work best)
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 2 – 3 teaspoons salt, depending on taste
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple juice concentrate – optional
- 1 1/2 cups water, approximately
- Place garlic in a quart jar.
- Wash cucumbers and cut into slices.
- Place cucumber slices in jar along with dill, salt, and lemon juice (and apple juice if desired).
- Bring water almost to a boil. Pour very hot water into jars until cucumbers are covered.
- Screw lid on jar and place in refrigerator. (I always give the jar a gentle shake before placing in frig – just to make sure ingredients are mixed well.)
- Wait at least 24 hours before serving. The pickles will taste even better after two days of marinating.
But what do you do when you have more cucumbers than you possibly can eat even after making refrigerator pickles?
We’ve also been canning a few jars of lemon pickles so we can enjoy them through the winter months.
What is the difference between refrigerator pickles and canned pickles?
While the ingredients are almost the same, refrigerator pickles are not processed in the canner or hot water bath, and they aren’t sealed. They need to be kept in the refrigerator, and they keep for about 1 1/2 weeks. Refrigerator pickles tend to be a bit crunchier than canned pickles because they aren’t exposed to the high heat of the canning process.
Home-canned pickles need to go through a preserving process (canning – usually in a hot water bath) and are meant to be stored long term. They don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator (until opened) and will keep for at least a year if canned and stored properly.
Crunchy, crisp, home-canned cucumbers in the middle of winter – what a treat!