FoodThe secret to perfectly crunchy pickled cucumbers revealed

The secret to perfectly crunchy pickled cucumbers revealed

Grandma's method for pickled cucumbers
Grandma's method for pickled cucumbers
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Александра Ермоленко

15 June 2024 18:37

Pickled cucumbers are an indispensable element of Polish cuisine. Crunchy, aromatic, perfect as an addition to sandwiches, salads, or as a standalone snack. However, their preparation can sometimes be challenging. It happens that cucumbers, instead of being crunchy, become soft or hollow inside. What is the reason for this? Often, the wrong recipe is to blame.

Nothing is better than homemade preserves, especially when we can enjoy the taste of crunchy pickled cucumbers. However, many of us have experienced a moment of disappointment when opening a jar, only to find that the cucumbers are soft or hollow. The reason may be an improper recipe. That’s why it’s worth using tried-and-true recipes that have been a guarantee of success for generations. In this article, I'll share my grandmother's secret for exceptionally crunchy pickled cucumbers – the critical element is the right leaves.

The secret to crunchy pickled cucumbers

One of the most important steps to achieve crunchy pickled cucumbers is to add currant and cherry leaves to the jar. Often overlooked today, these additions are crucial in the pickling process. Cherry leaves have properties that prevent cucumbers from softening and neutralize unwanted flavours. Meanwhile, currant leaves add incredible crunch and aroma to the preserves.

It's worth not giving up these natural additions. Grandma always emphasized that cucumbers don’t have that unique character without them. The combination of cherry and currant leaves makes our pickled cucumbers tastier and more durable.

Recipe for pickled cucumbers with currant and cherry leaves

Here is a recipe for perfect pickled cucumbers, just like my grandmother made. Using currant and cherry leaves is key to success, so make sure you have them on hand.


  • 1 litre of water,
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt,
  • 900 grams of field cucumbers,
  • 2 large pieces of horseradish and horseradish leaves,
  • 2 large dill heads with umbrellas,
  • 1 sprig of red currant,
  • 3 young cherry leaves,
  • 5 cloves of garlic.


  1. Prepare a 2-litre jar – sterilise and dry it.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the cucumbers.
  3. Place some of the currant and cherry leaves and horseradish pieces at the jar's bottom.
  4. Add horseradish leaves and garlic cloves.
  5. Pack the cucumbers tightly to fill the jar well.
  6. Stuff dill, leaves, garlic cloves, and horseradish between the cucumbers.
  7. Cover the top of the preserve with cherry, horseradish, currant leaves, and additional dill.
  8. Prepare the brine: add salt to a litre of warm water and mix thoroughly.
  9. Pour the brine into the jar, ensuring all ingredients are covered.
  10. Seal the jar and set aside for two days. After this time, you will have lightly pickled cucumbers. To get fully pickled cucumbers, wait a week.

This recipe is not only tested but also extremely simple to execute. By using currant and cherry leaves, your cucumbers will have amazing crunch and aroma that will remind you of the flavours of childhood.

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