Spree Forest dill gherkins
This typical gherkin recipe from the Spree Forest only requires a few ingredients. Once prepared, simply place them in the fridge and you can then enjoy a small supply of tasty dill gherkins for around 3 to 4 weeks to come!
3 kg small cucumbers (cornichons), 6 vine leaves, 2 long stems of dill with flowers, 8 peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 2 handfuls of salt (non-iodised), a 5-litre stoneware pot
Wash, rinse and dry the cucumbers. Lay the vine leaves on the base of the stone pot. Place the cucumbers and roughly chopped dill on top of the leaves in tightly packed layers, sprinkling the remaining herbs and seasonings in between. Boil the salt in 4 litres of water and leave to cool, then pour the salted water over the cucumbers. Ensure that all of the cucumbers are well covered by the salted water.
Cover with a plate or a wooden lid weighed down with a rock. Leave the dill gherkins to soak in a cool place for at least 7 days. After a few days, a white film will form on top of the brine, meaning that the lactic acid fermentation process has started. This does not indicate that the pickles have spoiled! Simply rinse the gherkins under cold water when you remove them from the pot. Our grandma always used to fish the vine leaves out of the pot after a few days to stop the white film from forming. Please do not remove the gherkins with metal tongs or a fork, as this promotes the formation of mould. We recommend using wooden tongs.
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