Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lemon Cucumber Pickles - Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote this post on making Lemon Cucumber pickles. Since then, I've had several requests for a good canning recipe to use the bounty of lemon cucumbers that people have coming from their gardens. The main difference between this recipe and the one I gave on the first lemon cucumber post is this one will follow a specific recipe, to ensure safe canning methods. The previous one was a non-canning recipe, more for just enjoying the first cucumbers of the season; easy and delicious to eat right away with your summer meals. Although I didn't add spices to that first recipe, you can add your favorite spices to taste.

This recipe is a delicious bread-and-butter pickle recipe and using the lemon cucumbers work great, because they are firm enough (the key is to pick them and use them immediately, don't wait several days, as they will start to get softer and not be as firm when made into pickles) and have a nice sweet (non-bitter) taste.

I picked our cucumbers and within the hour began the pickle making process. There are two types of cucumbers pictured below; the long, green ones are Armenian Cucumbers and the smaller, round, yellowish ones are the Lemon Cucumbers.

The following is a "fresh pack or quick process pickle" recipe, meaning the pickles are covered with boiling hot vinegar, spices and seasonings. I am including extra notes in this post, if you are canning for the first time or if it's been awhile since you last canned. Please click on the links for more specific and helpful information. For any other canning questions always check this website for up-to-date and accurate information.

Bread-and-Butter Pickle Slices
From So Easy to Preserve, pgs. 125-126

Yields = 7-8 pints

6 pounds of 4 to 5-inch pickling cucumbers *I used mostly lemon cucumbers and one large Armenian cucumber.
8 cups thinly sliced onions /about 3 pounds *I used a mixture of walla walla onions and yellow onions
1/2 cup canning salt *It's very important to use "canning" or "pickling" salt, rather than table salt. Other salts contain anti-caking materials and this can make the brine or liquid cloudy.
Crushed or cubed ice
4 cups vinegar (5%) *Use vinegar of 5-percent acidity. Do not use homemade vinegar or vinegar that you don't know the acidity of in pickling. Also, do not dilute the vinegar, because you will be diluting the preservative effect.
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric


1) Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/6-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch rings.

2) Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add canning salt.

3) Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.

To Make Pickles:

1) Add sugar and remaining ingredients to vinegar in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes.

2) Add well drained cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling.

3) Fill pint or quart jars with cucumber & onion slices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Fill to 1/2 inch from top with hot cooking liquid. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids.

4) Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath. After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks before use to develop ideal flavor.

*Remember after removing jars from Boiling Water Bath, they should remain undisturbed for 12 hours before moving them to storage.

Just look at all the spices mixed with the onions and pickles--if you let them sit 4 to 5 weeks as suggested by the recipe to fully develop the flavor, it will be so worth the wait!

Remember to enter the giveaway for this AWESOME canning book--So Easy to Preserve!
(Just scroll down to the bottom of this post to leave a comment and enter to win this AWESOME book.)


  1. Still not a big fan of pickles....but they look lovely. Good to see that you have power again!

  2. When I grow up I'm gonna have a garden and make my own pickles, too!!

  3. Jeff: Yes, it was good to finally have our power back on.

    Anna: I know that you already make so many wonderful things! :)

  4. I was wondering why you refrigerate them for 3-4 hours with ice on them? What does that do?

  5. mkindred123: Great question! The reason why you refrigerate them with the canning salt and ice--it helps them retain their firmness, so when they are canned they won't get too soft.

  6. perfect post on just the day I need it! I would love this book. Thanks!

  7. Jen Z: I'm glad it was helpful for you! :)

  8. Thank you so much for this great recipe! I have a monster crop of lemon cukes. I adore them, planted 3 plants, including one water-tower-insulated early one; then we had the hottest summer on record and now they are coming out my ears! Ask and ye shall receive I guess. This will be my first canning project, too, though I took a class at the extension office. Hopefully I won't kill anyone :p Thanks!

  9. BarbaraC: I'm glad this recipe will help with your abundance of lemon cucumbers. We are still getting a ton from our garden--I may have to do another batch too! :)

  10. Hi Jill,
    Wow great blog & great pictures. I am just getting into canning & have a ton of lemon cucumbers from the garden. The bread & butter pickle recipe looks great, however, I will looking for more of a dill pickle recipe. Any ideas? Also, I am assuming with any type of pickling I should always leave the peel on the lemon cucumber & I should do your salt/ice refrigerator process before hand? Yes/no? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Jill,
    I noticed your from Kings Valley area. Very familiar to me. I grew up on the Oregon Coast. My family has a family cemetery in Pedee. Small world. Looking forward to your comments. Great blog.

  12. thank you so much for posting this. I have 6+ pounds of lemon cucumbers and no idea what to do with them.
    also may i add you to my list of blogs and friends? this would be awesome!!

  13. OMG, we live nearly a skip and a jump apart. crazy world.

  14. Elizabeth: Depending on the Dill Pickle recipe, usually you soak the pickles in a cold water and pickling salt. Dill pickles with dill weed, garlic, tumeric and celery seed has a great flavor. It is a small world--wow, Pedee is just a few miles down the road. Thanks for visiting! :)

    Hotmamao3: I'm glad this post was helpful for you and you sound like you live close by too! :)

  15. Hadn't canned since the 70's when kids were small, but with bountiful garden my retired husband planted had to start back. Was working as part-time 4-H Program Asst which is part of co-operative extension program of Univ of GA. After researching internet for pickling recipes I kept finding reference to the "SO EASY TO PRESERVE" book. Asked our secretary & sure enough-she always had it for sale in our office. Go figure, didn't know the best reference for canning was just across the hall from my office. It's been a treasure & I share with anyone who asks about canning.

  16. I'm making my second batch right now, I already ate one pint jar of them in a couple of days.yum yum.

  17. Hi Liz, thank you for posting this GREAT recipe! My family and I have a farm store in Oregon with a massive crop of lemon cucumbers right now. We're known in the area for our pickling cukes, but people don't seem to know that lemon cucumbers also preserve nicely. May we print out copies of this blog post and use it to show people the idea? Thanks! --Mary, Schlichting Century Farms www.gotbirdseed.com

  18. Thank you for sharing this. My lemon cucumbers have EXPLODED and I was not sure how to use all of them. I know what I'm making today!

  19. I Love the recipe that contain lemon juice, the taste is really wonderful and delicious. this is my favorite fruit and i enjoy preparing recipes. My boyfriend always enjoy all my recipe. He is really happy.
    Actually I was looking for information how to buy viagra by internet and I saw this blog, so I prefered to read about it.

  20. dear Jill, thanks for the lemon cucumber pickling recipe. It is just what I was looking for since I planted for the first time ever, some lemon cucumber plants this spring and wow are they ever prolific!!! It is exciting, delicious and now adding to my learning curve as I must undertake to pickle for the first time ever as well. Your book sounds interesting. Cheers and thanks for the blog.

  21. Thanks so much for the recipe. It looks and smells amazing. I have one question...
    "WHy is my clear liquid so dark?" Nothing like yours in the pictures. I hope that I didn't do anything wrong.

    Your new fan,

  22. I am trying this recipe next. I used a regular dill pickle recipe for the last batch I canned. turned out tasty but very soft. Now I know why. Thankyou

  23. Jill, thank you for the Lemon Cucumber recipe. My neighbors garden has been over taken by lemon cucumbers and I have received a large quantity that I am going to use your recipe on.

    The funny thing about finding you and the recipe is you are only about 15 miles away from me. Thank you and enjoy our lovely fall/winter weather once again.

  24. How many lemon cucumbers in a pound (approximately)?

    1. 8-9 medium to large

    2. I mean that was 8-9 in six pounds

  25. My first lemon cucumber plant is 4 inches tall - waiting for no frost to plant out doors. Can't wait to try your recipe. I know it will be wonderful. My mother in law taught me to make pickles in Pensacola 30 years ago. Retired now and making them again!!

  26. Hello Jill, I would love to get my hands on one of your Jars of pickled lemon cucumbers.I am out in Philidalphia, I dont mind paying for them and for courier service. Please email me if this is possible:

  27. Hi Jill! Thank you so much for this recipe. This is my first year gardening, and I planted lemon cucumbers "because the picture on the tag was cute". Then came the reality, what the heck am I going to do with them??? I can't wait to try your recipe. I know this is an older post, but I'd love a copy of the canning cookbook if it's still available. Thanks again! cmichelea@yahoo.com

  28. Thank you for the recipe. This was my first year at growing the lemon cucumbers and I just love them. The cookbook would be great. Sandy

  29. We have grown lemon cucumbers for years. I never thought to pickle them! We have a ton in the garden, ready to pick!
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Patty Williams,
    Cottage Grove, Oregon

  30. Just finished making these pickles. It would have been helpful if you hadn't omitted an important step! After the fridge stage, you are supposed to RINSE the cucumber/onion mix and drain, not just drain. My pickles are very salty!

  31. Can't wait to attempt making these. Have my first lemon cuks in abundance...I love them..and they are so cute!!