These pickles are slightly sweet with just a hint of spicy-ness. They taste similar to a bread and butter style pickle, but with the added benefits of lacto-fermentation. The bad thing about these tasty pickles are that they never seem to last in my house… they get eaten up so quickly. I just may have to lock the kids out of the refrigerator so that I get to eat more than just a few slices of these If you look at the photo, you’ll see that they had already gotten to them before I go to take a picture… the jar was full. (Well, at least I know these pickles are so good for them… so really it’s a good thing that they enjoy them so much.)
- 1 pound pickling cucumbers
- 1/2 cup mild onion, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup maple syrup (honey is anti-bacterial in nature, so will not make a good substitute)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or use a small piece of cinnamon stick crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon whole all-spice berries
- 5 whole cloves
- pinch (1/16 tsp.) ground ginger
- pinch (1/16 tsp.) dill seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons whey (see how to obtain whey)
- 1 small bay leaf, organic is preferred
- filtered water, if needed
Other Items you will Need:
1-quart sized wide-mouth jar (preferably with air-lock lid)
If cucumbers are not freshly picked, soak in very icy water for a couple of hours. Keep in ice water until ready to slice/put into jars.
Bring maple syrup and all of the spices (including salt, but not bay leaf) to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from heat and let spices steep until liquid has cooled to room temperature.
Cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch slices. I used my mandolin with the blade that has ridges, but you can also just cut by hand with a knife. Carefully arrange and alternate pickle slices with onion slices inside a 1-quart sized wide-mouth jar (preferably with air-lock lid), laying them as flat as possible. Place the bay leaf some where in the middle of the jar, between the slices.
When maple syrup-spice mixture is cooled, stir in the lemon juice and whey. Pour this mixture over the cucumber slices in the jar, add additional filtered water to cover pickles as needed. Be sure to leave 1-inch of space from the top of the jar to allow for expansion.
Screw storage (solid) lid on-top of jar tightly. Give the jar a very gentle shake, from side-to-side, to mix any water you added with the syrup and spices. Open jar back up, push any cucumber slices back down into the brine if needed.
Place lid (preferably air-lock lid) on the jar tightly. If using air-lock fill with water according to instructions. Allow to ferment, at room temperature, for 2 days.
Remove air-lock lid, if using, and replace with storage lid — transfer to cold storage. (These pickles also get better after several days in the fridge….but it’s hard to make them last that long.)