Ukranian lacto-fermented pickles

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by tortminder, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. tortminder

    tortminder Well-Known Member

    This is a recipe from my web site "Tort's Kitchen" at; Free Citizen's Forum :: Traditional Ukrainian Fermented (lactic acid) Pickles

    There are pictures of the steps at the web site...
    Ukrainian Fermented Pickles


    5 pounds of small cucumbers, unwaxed and unwashed. (fresh & crisp!) (2 to 4 inches long)

    1/2 head garlic
    3 dried sprigs of dill weed with heads
    3 grape leaves or cherry leaves (optional)
    1 cup unrefined sea salt
    4 quarts water (filtered)
    6 peppercorns (optional)
    1 gallon glass jar or crock (Medalta crock # 3 will hold 5 to 10 lbs. of cukes)

    Soak (but do not scrub) cucumbers in very cold water for 5 minutes.Use hands to loosen any dirt.

    Scald a very clean glass jar with boiling water. Place a grape leaf at the bottom and arrange cucumbers vertically in layers, inserting garlic cloves and dill weed here and there. Do not pack tightly.

    Add salt to filtered or spring water and stir and dissolve. Pour brine over cucumbers and add peppercorns.

    Cover with leaves and a plate and place in a cool, dark place to ferment.(Long cool fermentation creates the best tasting and best keeping dill pickles. Cover with lead-free ceramic plate and river rock on top. Cover the plate and rock with 2 inches of brine (water and sea salt). The cucumbers need to be completely submerged and weighed down, under plate and stone.

    After 1 week, the cucumbers will be semi cured; some prefer them that way. However, it is only after 3-4 weeks that they become fully cured pickles (without pale areas, completely translucent green). Once a week scoop the scum (kahm yeast) that forms on top, and discard (unless you are using a Harsch crock pot that has a clever patented airlock water gutter, that prevents the scum from forming).

    Pickles may be placed in smaller jars that are more convenient for storage. Scald 3 or 4 quart jars, pour off and strain pickling juice (discarding garlic and dill weed). Transfer pickles, fill quart jars with strained liquid, cover, and refrigerate.

    The juice, or kvas, is never thrown out; it is used as a base for soups, borsch, or even salad dressing.

    Naturally fermented pickles will keep easily for a whole year (they acquire more taste as they age). In the middle of winter they will light up your tastebuds and provide delicious fixin's for sandwiches, and keep your digestion happy.

  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Sounds good - but, for some reason, I am not a big fan of dill pickles .. do you have other pickle recipes that I can try out?

  3. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Try out this sweet pickle recipe...:2thumb: YUMMIE...

    • 8 pounds small pickling cucumbers
    • 1 quart (4 cups) cider vinegar
    • 8 cups sugar
    • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
    • 2 tablespoons mixed pickle spices (available in the grocery store spice section)

    • a large, deep, stainless-steel, nonreactive pot
    • 8 to 10 1-pint glass canning jars and 2-piece canning lids
    • canning equipment
    • a narrow plastic spatula

    1. Using a soft vegetable brush, scrub the cucumbers in cool running water. Cut 1/16 inch off the blossom end. Discard any cucumbers that are bruised or damaged.

    2. Put the cucumbers in the nonreactive pot and cover with boiling water. Let them stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

    3. Drain off the water and again cover with boiling water.
    Repeat the process daily for 3 more days.

    4. On day 5, bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and spices to a boil in the nonreactive pot. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick chips and add to the pot. Let the pot stand at room temperature for 1 more day.

    5. On day 6, drain off the liquid and bring it back to a boil. Add the cucumbers. Boil 1 minute and portion the pickles into clean, hot canning jars, filling each to within 3/4 inch of the top.

    6. Cover the pickles with the brine, filling to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jars. To remove air bubbles, gently run the plastic spatula (don't use a metal one) around the jar, keeping the utensil between the pickles and the jar's inner surface. If necessary, add more liquid to readjust headspace. Wipe any residue off the rims with a clean, damp towel. Apply lids and screwbands evenly and firmly until resistance is met—fingertip tight. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. The pickles will be ready to eat the next day. But longer the better!!!:congrat:
  4. tortminder

    tortminder Well-Known Member

    I do basically the same recipe with asparagus spears or green beans. The difference is that the lacto-fermented stuff has beneficial "bugs" like sauerkraut and is a different animal entirely. You can also can put up green tomatoes with a similar recipe, (either lacto fermented OR vinegar canning process).
  5. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    It sounds yummy but I have one question. Do they stay crisp? This was my second year canning and I got mushy pickles again. :scratch
  6. tortminder

    tortminder Well-Known Member

    Adding a grape leaf will keep them crunchy.
  7. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I'll try to remember that when next summers harvest comes in. Any type of grape leaf ?
    Can I just walk over to the woods and take some of the wild ones?
    Do you put one in each jar?
    Do you put them in when the cukes are soaking in the boiling water?

    OK I'll shut up now. :ignore:
  8. tortminder

    tortminder Well-Known Member

    Young wild grape leaves work well, (they are also good stuffed with a mixture of cooked rice and ground lamb,,, dolmades, YUM!).
    One in each jar.
    Why would you boil your cukes in water?
    Vinegar pickles are made by placing washed cukes, (cut off blossom ends or the pickles will be bitter) in sterilized canning jars along with one grape leaf. Boil vinegar and spices in a non-reactive pot, (enamel or glass) and pour pickling liquid over cukes leaving about 1/2" "head space". Using lid lifter or tongs, place boiled canning lid on each jar and place jar band finger tight. Process in a water bath canner, (I would time it 20 minutes at sea level). remove jars from caner and let them cool away frm drafts, (I cover with a towel) until cooled and sealed, (the signature "ping" will tell you the canning has been successful). Allow to mellow a minimum of -10 days, (21 days better).
  9. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Yes they do stay crisp, take them right from the garden and make pickles. One trick to making crispy pickles is to soak them in pickling lime over night, either whole or sliced. Also make sure you are cleaning them with a stiff brush to remove dirt and other debris YUM YUM :2thumb:
  10. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I only like dill and hate sweet. When I was a child a bet my father I could eat an entire jar. I lost and I have never had a sweet pickle ever again.
  11. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    I also make killer Bread and Butter pickles, cross between dills and sweets, also do sliced jalapenos that way. YUM YUM :2thumb::2thumb::2thumb: There's never been a pickle I haven't liked:beercheer::beercheer: I use the prepackaged envelope from Ball found in the Wallmart canning section.
  12. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I guess I didn't put that the right way. :eek: I was referring to Bob's recipe and pouring boiling water over them. I boil the brine and pour it into the pickle packed jars then process them for 30 min. in a BWB.
  13. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    Oh my goodness why would anyone soak cucumbers in boiling water?? :nuts:

    LOL....I know you didn't mean it that way but I read it and I still think its hilarious LOL!!!
  14. ditzyjan56

    ditzyjan56 Well-Known Member

    If at the end of the year or if you just find you are overrun with other vegetables. Try pickling cauliflower, carrots, onions with your bread and butter pickles. I can't seem to get enough pickled to last the year out with the grand kids

    Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

    Bread and butter pickles are one of my favorite cucumber pickles. I like a little red pepper in my pickles, but you can leave it out or add a little more.

    * 4 pounds pickling cucumbers,Cauliflower and carrots
    * 4 large onions, quartered, sliced about 1/4-inch thickness
    * 1/3 cup kosher salt
    * 3 cups cider vinegar
    * 1 1/2 cups sugar
    * 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    * 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
    * 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, or use half pickling spices
    * 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

    Wash vegetables and cut off the ends of the cucumbers. Slice crosswise into 1/2inch chunks. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and onion slices; cover with about 4 to 6 cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.

    Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large canner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. I usually fill it about halfway and I keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canner as needed. Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.

    Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars. With a clean damp cloth (I keep a little bowl or cup of the boiled water handy for this step), wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids. A lid lifter comes in handy to get the flat lids out of the water, or you could use tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared boiling water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.
    Makes about 6 pints.
  15. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I knew we had a fermented pickles thread here somewhere...

  16. mojo4

    mojo4 Well-Known Member

    My wife makes great pickles. We just get a big jar of regular pickles, slice em up thin and she adds sliced garlic and some schirracha (the asian red chili sauce not sure how to spell it!) And sugar. Makes killer pickles!
  17. WWhermit

    WWhermit Well-Known Member

    I've been making fermented pickles for a while now. Very easy to do, and you make make the recipe your own. For me, I like really spicy stuff once in a while, so I've been working on pickles with dill, garlic, peppercorns, sliced horseradish root, and jalepeno peppers. Turning out really good, and they're ready in about 5 days. Yum!