Pickles were always part of our meals at home, breakfast and lunch especially. There are several ways of pickling cucumber, however this is one of the most popular in Sweden, as it has a nice balance of sweetness, vinegar and salt. Delicious on open sandwiches, with meat, pate and fish. They also work well as an accompaniment to fish tacos and of course burgers.
Dill and dill crowns in particular are an integral part of Swedish pickled gherkins. They are difficult, however to get hold of here, which is why I have resorted to growing my own. If you are unable to buy or grow dill crowns, try and find dill with long stalks, they have lots of flavour and are best sliced, then added to the pickling liquor. The gherkins should be both salty and sweet and definitely not too vinegary.
This is a family recipe, given to me by my grandmother, I’ve just tweaked it a little. Firstly though, I must explain that I have used a Swedish ingredient called ‘ättika’.
Ättika is like a really strong vinegar that has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell. It’s commonly used for pickling and baking. Unfortunately you can’t just replace ättika with vinegar when it’s required in cooking, I’ve tried. I’m told that glacial acetic acid is very similar but I have never used it. Ättika is however easily purchased online. If only 24 percent is available, you’ll need to dilute it. Take half the required amount in the recipe and add the same again of water.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my family do.
Classic Swedish Pickled Gherkins
- 2 large sterilised kilner jars or 4 jam jars.
- 1 kg gherkins
- 15 g horseradish root peeled and sliced
- 4 Dill crowns stalks sliced
- 1 small bunch dill with long stalks if you can’t find crowns just use dill
- 400 g sugar
- 240 ml water
- 240 ml ättika 12% If you have 24% use 120ml and top up with the sam of water, then proceed as per the recipe.
- 45 g salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbls yellow mustard seeds
- 1 Tbls white peppercorns
- Wash the gherkins well, they are quite prickly so take care. Cut the ends off and then slice.
- Place the slices into your sterilised jars layered with the dill, dill crowns, stalks, bay leaf & horseradish. Heat the sugar, water, salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns and ättika in a pan until it comes to the boil, simmer until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour over the gherkins and seal. They’re ready to eat in 5-7 days. Store in the fridge. Once opened use within 10 days.