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Have you made frozen cucumbers?

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I recently visited a former teacher of mine, who offered me some of her homemade pickles to sample. They were excellent. Turns out you can make them very easily IN THE FREEZER! I just made my first batch with native pickling cukes and used a mandoline so they're not only beautifully sliced, but crinkle-cut, too. Here's the recipe:

FROZEN CUCUMBERS FROM MRS. B.

2 quarts unpeeled cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar

Place cucumbers, onions and salt in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and let stand for 2 hours. Drain. Dissolve sugar with vinegar on medium heat. Pour over cucumbers and onion; mix well. Put in plastic containers; leave ¼ inch at top for expansion. Freeze. Thaw before serving.

Move pickles from freezer to refrigerator the night prior to serving (or about four hours before use). Store in refrigerator after thawing.

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  1. i've heard of refrigerator pickles, but not freezer pickles. what is supposed to be accomplished by freezing vs. simply refrigerating?

    10 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      I honestly don't know! I can only tell you they "work" and are very tasty. If I hear from Mrs. B. as to the logic, I will let you know. I did find other similar recipes on Cooks.com, but no explanations. I am so tickled by these fancy homemade pickles. Even the onions are crinkle-cut--they look very artsy. ;)

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Are they super crunchy and stay that way?? I made refrigerator pickles not too long ago, they were crunchy but after day two they lost that nice crunch.

        1. re: chef chicklet

          I will have to get back to you on that, cc. I have to say, I liked the handful I sampled before I put them in the freezer.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Sure take your time. I was hoping you hit the secret I've been trying to find out. We have a little German restaurant not far from my home, and the Grandma makes the most delicious bread and butter pickles. All I could pry out of the grandson was that she makes them every day and that no one knows the recipe but her. She makes all of the traditional German dishes for the restaurant using her family recipes. Some are good, some are so heavy.. but these pickles are to die for. They are crunchy fresh and the seasoning delicious, I think a touch of clove,and a sprinkling of love and who knows what else, but they are terrific.

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Hello again! This is officially day two of pickledom. I thawed them yesterday, had a sampling last night and just a few minutes ago (my stomach knows no clock). They are indeed crunchy and NOT slimy whatsoever. I snapped a photo, too, which I'll post later on when I get to my other PC.

              Re the German pickles, you could easily try these (it's a cheap experiment!), see how you like them, then perhaps modify with spices and see if they're a match. And if you use a mandoline, please be careful slicing so you don't wind up with a chunk of skin missing from your thumb! :(

              1. re: Scargod

                EXCELLENT, I've bookmarked your recipe, and will try it. Thanks this is so great, I was wondering how she had got them to be so crunchy.
                Little trickster...

        2. re: kattyeyes

          Wouldn't they "work" if not frozen? When sliced thin cukes take on a brine very quickly.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            Maybe so. I know absolutely nothing about making cucumbers except this recipe. :) I took one container out of the freezer this a.m. and moved 'em to the fridge so I can sample later.

        3. re: alkapal

          maybe to preserve a little longer as they will keep frozen longer then in ref.

          1. re: mildredmm

            My thought is that pickles lose their crunch the longer they're floating in the brine. By freezing them, you're stopping that crunch-loss factor in the later-eaten pickles.

        4. I've made these, and had them made by a few different ppl. They are always little on the slimy side for my liking. I much prefer just leaving them in the fridge instead of freezing them. I basically just make fridge pickles without the sugar. Freezing IMO ruins the integrity of the cucumber - probably does something to the cell walls of the poor thing which results in the difference in texture. Most frozen veggies become soggy / slimy in one way or another. I'm really not sure why ppl would freeze these pickles, but there sure are folks who like these.

          1. Thanks for the reminder - I made these a couple of years ago and they're really good. Sort of a bread and butter type of pickle, with excellent texture - not at all slimy. I have always been a hard-core traditionalist when it comes to preserving stuff, but these have me converted, at least a little bit. I don't know why they work, but they do.

            Freezer Pickles
            8 cups small cucumbers, scrubbed
            1 medium onion
            2 tbsp. coarse pickling salt
            1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
            1-1/2 cups white vinegar
            1 tbsp. whole celery seeds
            1 tbsp. whole mustard seeds

            Cut the ends off the cucumbers and slice them, crosswise, as thinly as possible. Place slices in a large bowl. Peel the onion, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into slices as thinly as possible. Add to the cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt and stir to mix. Let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature.

            Meanwhile, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and mustard seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour over the cucumbers in the bowl. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours (more or less), stirring occasionally.

            Transfer to individual freezer containers or zipper-top bags and freeze. They can be defrosted and eaten anytime.

            Makes about 6 cups

            1. Here's a pic of the pickles!

              We heard back from Mrs. B. today. Apparently, you're supposed to keep the pickles frozen a week before thawing and eating, so I'll have two separate batches to try--these "overnighter" frozen pickles and "one-week-in-the-freezers." I still say they're very tasty right here, right now on day 2.

               
              1 Reply
              1. re: kattyeyes

                yummmmy! I do have a mandoline, time to practice!

              2. sista-kat, i thought of you when i saw this recipe for squash pickles with ginger & lemongrass:
                http://www.recipezaar.com/Zucchini-Sq...

                1. Other than for long-term preservation I don't get what the freezing is about here. The only thing it's going to do foodwise is reduce the crispness of the cukes by causing the cell walls to burst as the water expands in the freezing process. Is that what you really want?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: BobB

                    we never did figure out why the freezing....
                    sista-kat, would you ask mrs. b?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Update:
                      1. I just hung up with Mrs. B. She doesn't know why about the freezing. She can only say it works and I agree with her 100 percent. ;)
                      2. I recently thawed my other 1/2 batch of frozen cukes. They are every bit as delicious and crunchy as the ones that spent just one night in the freezer.

                      So as The Eagles sang, "I can't tell you why," but they are so easy to make and very tasty treats--especially in the summertime. XOXO, sista-kat

                    2. re: BobB

                      I can't explain the freezing either, but I assure you these pickles are every bit as crunchy for that style of pickle as any I've ever made. The appeal of freezing, of course, is that it'sridiculously quick to make. No canning jars, no processing - just pop into the freezer and you're done. When you take them out just decant into a nicer container for fridge storage until you finish eating them. Of course this method is pointless if you live with a teensyapartment-size freezer. But if you have the space, you should try it.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        Maybe the point is that bursting the cell walls by freezing allows the brine to get in more quickly, thus accelerating the pickling process.

                        1. re: BobB

                          You freeze these simply to save time. It is the difference between 2 hours and the time it takes for processing. You don't have to use special containers, butter bowls work well. I have made these for many years and they always stay crisp after thawing. Also can add celery seed, mustard seed and chopped green pepper and have something that tastes more like a bread and butter pickle.

                          1. re: Pat43

                            Exactemente.

                    3. Try frozen fruits. I used to do freeze fruits as a kid during heat wave. It is good.

                      1. Made these a week ago during a garden cucumber glut and just took the first container out of the freezer today. It actually works!!! And they tasted good on hamburgers, too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DonShirer

                          Well, all right!!! :) YEEEHAAAAAAAAAA!