These refrigerator sweet pickles are an easy homemade Scandinavian-style pickle. Simple to toss together, sweet as can be, and crisp as your favorite pickles from childhood. And there’s no hot-processing canning required as these simply stay in the fridge.
This Scandinavian pickle is fresh and fragrant. Perfumed with fresh dill, which is so prevalent in Nordic cuisine, it is superb eaten with salmon, smoked fish, rillettes, and cheese—an extremely handy standby to have in the fridge. So simple they don’t even require turning on the stove.–Charlotte Pike
WHAT ARE REFRIGERATOR PICKLES?
Sometimes, you want your pickles as soon as possible. Or you’re just not into the fussiness that’s involved with true preserving. Refrigerator pickles are like regular pickles except you don’t have to sterilize jars, or process the full jars in boiling water, or wait for the lids to seal. In this version, you just mix the ingredients together and hide them in your fridge for a few days, or even hours. There’s no need for them to be canned since they’re kept in a refrigerated environment. Same taste. Less work.
Refrigerator Sweet Pickles
- One half-gallon jar or two 1-quart glass jars with lid(s) and rubber seal(s), washed with soap and hot water
- 3 large cucumbers (weight will vary), peeled if desired
- 1 small white onion, very thinly sliced
- 5 large sprigs fresh dill
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Thinly slice the cucumbers, using a mandoline or handheld slicer if you have one.
- Layer the cucumbers, onion, and dill in the jar(s).
- If you're a laid back sort of home cook, simply pour the vinegar, sugar, and salt into the jar(s), screw on the lid, and shake well until the sugar begins to dissolve. It won't completely dissolve and that's okay. If you're a sorta precise, take-no-chances sort of home cook, stir together the sugar, vinegar, and salt in a large measuring glass or bowl until the sugar begins to dissolve. It won't completely dissolve and that's okay. Pour the mixture into the jar(s) and screw on the lid.
- Stash the jar(s) of pickles in the fridge for up to 1 month—but we bet they won't last nearly that long. You can try them as soon as 6 hours if you're the impatient sort although the longer the pickles remain in the fridge, the more intense the flavor.
☞TESTER TIP: We found around 3 or 5 days to be the optimal waiting period before diving into your jar of pickles. By this time the dill will have mellowed, the sweetness remains noticeable, and the crunch remains pronounced.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is just the kind of simple, delicious pickle I like to have on hand to serve with drinks, a hamburger, or even a nice piece of grilled salmon. This recipe is particularly great because you don't even need to turn on the stove! Sweet, sour, dilly, but still mild, these are extremely versatile and I can imagine using them to dress up many dishes.
I made a half recipe because there's just me (although my guest loved them). I prefer Kirby cucumbers for pickling, and the ones I purchased were quite large. I mixed the brine in a small pitcher till the sugar and salt were dissolved. I layered the cucumbers, onion, and dill in the jar and poured the brine over, tapping the jar several times on the counter to get rid of any air pockets.
I tested mine after 2 and 4 days and they were tasty, but I found that at 5 days they really had developed a full flavor.
This is a quick and simple refrigerator pickles recipe for anyone who wants to prepare refrigerator pickles without putting much time in. The result was a sweet, bright pickle with just enough dill.
The 3 cukes I used (1 medium hothouse and 2 small pickling from CSA) resulted in 4 cups of very thinly sliced pieces. Since you don't heat the pickling liquid, it takes a while for the sugar to dissolve. I mixed the ingredients for the liquid together, stirred, and left it on the counter while I was at work as opposed to trying to vigorously stir it in the jar jam-packed with cucumbers and onions.
I used half a large sweet onion. Everything barely fit in the quart jar. Once everything was combined in the jar, there was very little wiggle room. In the future, I'd mix together the onion and cukes separately, pack it into jars, pour the prepared liquid over the top, tap out any air bubbles, and not even bother with trying to stir as it's messy and awkward.
This only took about 15 minutes of prep time, some time to dissolve the sugar, and I waited about 3 days before giving them a try. They're very yummy—a bit sweet for my taste. I might take down the sugar amounts next time, but the dill adds a nice herbal note that keeps these bright.
Originally published September 1, 2016