Traditional Estonian pickled gherkins are made in a large wooden barrel. cucumbers are placed between layers of blackcurrant leaves, dill stalks and slices of horse radish. Chilled water, containing 4 - 6% salt is poured over the cucumbers, and then a weight is placed on them. The barrel is then taken into a cool cellar with even temperature, where bacteria will produce lactic acid which will ferment the cucumbers. In about 30 days, the cucumbers acquire a pleasant, distinctly sour taste. Those who do not possess a cellar have devised new methods of pickling cucumbers in modern apartment buildings.
- 2 kg small hard gherkins
- few woody dill stalks with
- flowers on cut into 15 cm lengths
- handful of blackcurrant leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1 l water
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 dl vinegar (5% concentration of acetic acid)
- 1 tbsp Sugar
4. Cover the jar with a saucer and leave to stand.
5. In two - three days the liquid will turn cloudy, as the fermenting process caused by lactic acid, and speeded up by vinegar, will start.
7. Bring the liquid to the boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes to kill the bacteria.
9. Now put them in jars which have previously been sterilized with boiling water or in a hot oven. Pour the hot salty liquid (this is the 'old' salt water which was boiled to kill the bacteria) over them and seal the jars immediately.
10. Pickled gherkins will keep in a dark cupboard at room temperature for up to two years.