Spicy Crock Pickles Recipe

Try this 3-gallon Spicy Crock Pickles Recipe using the magic of fermentation.

| October 2012

Looking for an urban homesteading calendar of the basics for home and beyond? Look no further than Harriet Fasenfest’s A Householder’s Guide to the Universe (Tin House Books, 2010). This poetic guide provides the street-smarts needed to shop, garden, run a household and preserve and cook food according to the season. Follow Fasenfest into her home, her garden and her kitchen to discover the concrete tools every homesteader needs for sustainable change, all organized in an easy-to-use calendar. The following excerpt on fermenting pickles is taken from her August chapter in the section, “The Kitchen.” 

More Pickling Recipes from A Householder's Guide to the Universe:

Pickled Plums Recipe With Red Wine
Sonja's Plum Kuchen Recipe 

What distinguishes brined pickles (which these are) from quick pickles is the active ingredient in the recipe. Quick pickles are “pickled” by the acetic acid in vinegar. You do not need to let them ferment, merely allow them to sit in the vinegar for a week or so (preferably longer) before you eat them. They are easy and quick, hence the name. Brined pickles, on the other hand, are pick­led, or acidified, by the development of lactic acid during the fermentation process itself.

This recipe follows the guide­lines for full fermentation and therefore safe canning. As I men­tioned, some people choose not to can and either keep a pickle barrel in the basement or store the pickles in the fridge (though this is a hefty amount for refrigera­tor storage). I choose to ferment and can my pickles by August, so I can check them off my to-do list.

The leaves in this recipe are supposed to keep the cucumber firm. But even though I use them, I find that long brining takes a little of the crunch out of the pickle, no matter what you do. That’s okay by me. That’s how I remember eating them on Jerome Avenue.

Spicy Crock Pickles Recipe 

This recipe will fill a 3-gallon crock.  

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