I am more than happy to proclaim loud and proud that I love pickled anything. Cucumber, onion, cauliflower, green bean- you name it, i’ll eat it pickled.
After a visit to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware where I had some insanely good beer-infused pickles, I was inspired to try to make my own. I have to say- it was a pretty easy process, and within 24 hours I had delicious sweet and spicy pickles. The beauty of making them yourself is that you can adjust the sweetness, spice level, etc. exactly to your preference.
Here’s what you need:
- Something to pickle (if you’re doing cucumbers, make sure you get pickling cucumbers. I used 5 small ones to fill these two large mason jars. I also added half of a sweet onion, sliced finely, between the two jars to add some extra flavor)
- White vinegar (about 3 cups)
- White sugar (the amount is up to you. If you like really sweet pickles, then do up to 1 1/2 cups. Personally, I did about 1/3 of a cup and found the pickles to still be very sweet.)
- 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 4 whole cloves of fresh garlic, cut into large chunks
- 1-2 tbsp salt
- 2 cups of ice
First, chop your cucumbers and onions. If you want to get fancy and use a mandolin to get cute ridges on your pickles, be my guest. I just sliced mine thin by hand. Again, the beauty of homemade pickles is that you can make them your own, so cut as thin/thick/fancy as you please.
Next, fill your mason jars and start on your pickling liquid. Combine all ingredients over low-medium heat, stirring until the sugar has combined with the other ingredients. Taste your mixture, see if it’s sweet/spicy/tangy enough for you, and adjust as needed. Once it’s combined, add in ice cubes to cool the mixture and reduce the acidity a bit.
Once your liquid is cooled down a bit, pour it into your jars. I topped mine with about 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar each to add a different flavor profile, but you don’t have to. Then, just let your jars sit over night and within a day you have delicious sweet, tangy, crunchy homemade pickles!