Pickles

xo they make pickles without skins | Family Cuisine

This is a pickle without the skin.

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Xo they make pickles without skins

Sometimes I think that we have forgotten how joyful eating is. With all the food rules imposed on us, we have lost the ability to feel the pure pleasure and joy of cooking and eating. Recipes that bring back memories of loved ones can help you bring back that pleasure. The memories that come back to me when I make my grandfather’s Homemade German pickles -Senfgurken is truly special.

Homemade German Pickles in a mason jar with dill.

Reading: xo they make pickles without skins

My first memories of helping in the kitchen are baking brownies or cookies with my mom. I don’t consider myself a baker now. Many of our family recipes do not revolve around baking, so I did struggle with figuring out what to share this month. After eating some of my recent batch of pickles I realized that my grandfather’s Senfgurken (or German Pickle) recipe was perfect.

Senfgurken is a German pickle that uses mustard, dill, and possibly other spices. These particular pickles are peeled before they are placed in the pickling brine. These pickles are basically refrigerator dill pickles. There are also commonly called mustard pickles.

I never made the pickles with him, but we all have his recipe and use it every summer. We were swimming in cucumbers from our garden this year and I needed to do something with them before our vacation in August, so I made a huge batch of pickles before we left. This year is the first in probably 17 years that I made them. My husband has been the pickle chef all these years. I had to ask him a few questions, which felt wrong since this is my Pop-pop’s recipe!

My grandfather was so happy when Scott took an interest in his pickles and made a batch himself. Scott was given Pop-pop’s giant glass jar that he used when he made large batches. Scott became the pickle chef when the pickle jar was passed to him.

This recipe takes a few days to work through. I took a picture of each step, so don’t freak out because you have to scroll down further for the recipe.

How to make Homemade German Pickles

Stage I: Prep

Four cucumbers on a white marble counter.

The smallest batch calls for 4 cucumbers. We have made batches of more than 20 cucumbers before. You don’t need pickling cucumbers. We use regular cucumbers. The bigger the better.

Three cucumbers peeled sitting on a white marble table.

Start by peeling off the skin. Remember Senfgurken are peeled. After you peel the cucumbers slice them into four chunks. I cut them in half in the center and then cut each half in half again lengthwise.

A girl scooping seeds out of a cucumber with a spoon.

The seeds are removed. The best way is to use a spoon to just scoop them out. This task can get a bit messy. My daughter and I had some seeds that ended up on the floor and on our clothes. You can see I have a garbage bowl to put the seed into, but they still get away from you.

Read more: Recipe for Greek Style Pickled Cucumbers

Cucumber slices without seeds.

Each cucumber section is then cut into smaller strips (about a ¼-1/2 inch thick). You should get four slices per section.

A pile of slice cucumber spears without seeds.

Layer the cucumber slices into the bottom of a large pot. Salt each layer before starting a new one. The purpose of salting is to draw water out of the cucumbers.

A white place inside of a large black pot.

To increase the release of water we add a plate and some sort of weight on top of the cucumbers. My grandfather used a brick on top of a plate if I can remember correctly.

A blue pot on top of white plate inside a black larger pot.

I don’t have a spare brick laying around. The heaviest item I can find that would fit in my pot is my small Le Creuset pot. Grandpa’s directions say to place your pot of cucumbers into the refrigerator for 24 hours. We prefer 48 hours. The longer time frame allows more water to be excreted.

Stage 2: Pickling

Cucumber slices on a white paper towel.

When you are ready to pickle the cucumbers drain the extracted water from the pot. The cucumbers will need to be dried off by placing them onto paper towels. Pat the cucumbers dry with an additional towel.

Fresh dill, onion, and mustard seed on a white counter.

Our Senfgurken recipe uses only mustard seed, dill, and onion to flavor the pickles. Some recipes may use prepared mustard and/or pickling spices.

Filling the Jars

Onion slices inside a mason jar.

Read more: how to make refrigerator zucchini pickles | Family Cuisine

First, place onion in the bottom of your jar. I divide the onion slices evenly among my jars. You may not use all the onion that is sliced, but better to have extra.

Cucumber slices inside of a mason jar.

Place cucumber slices in the jars leaving some wiggle room.

Cucumber slices inside mason jar with mustard seed on top.

Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seed.

Cucumber slices in a mason jar with fresh dill and mustard seed on top.

Add a few sprigs of fresh dill.

German Pickles in a mason jar on a white table.

The hot pickling liquid is added last and divided among the jars. Let the jars cool down before adding the lids and transferring the jars to the refrigerator. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for a while. We have found jars that were a year old and the pickles were still good. The only time we have pickles that long is after we made a huge batch.

Tips to make pickles:

  • You don’t need to use pint jars. You can use any size jar you have. We used to use old spaghetti sauce jars!
  • Extra salt is needed beyond the 4 ½ tsp. The 4 ½ tsp is for the brine. When you prep the cucumbers you are layering them into a pot in order to extract the excess water in the cucumbers. To do this we have to salt the cucumbers. We salt each layer. I just sprinkle the salt, so it’s hard to measure exactly.
  • You don’t have to place the ingredients in any particular order. Sometimes I add the mustard seed first to the jars, then add the cucumbers, onion, and dill.
  • Let the jars cool completely before placing the pickles into the refrigerator.

These pickles are perfect with sandwiches and burgers:

Turkey Burgers

Big Mac Sliders

Cheesesteaks

Read more: how to make fast food pickles | Family Cuisine

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