Cucumber Lemon Pickles

If you find traditional pickles too astringent, try this refreshing, light tasting alternative. Lemon juice provides the unique flavour while a touch of sugar takes the bite out of the vinegar. For best flavour, let these pickles “mature” 4 to 6 weeks before use.


  • 14 cups (3500 ml) prepared cucumbers, about 8 large
  • 4 sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) pickling salt
  • Ice water
  • 1- 1/3 cups (325 ml) white vinegar
  • 1- 1/4cups (300 ml) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 7 small bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) peppercorns
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) whole allspice
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled


  • Thoroughly wash cucumbers. Peel and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) chunks or 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) slices. Combine cucumbers with prepared peppers and salt in a large glass bowl; cover with ice water. Let stand 3 hours.
  • Place 6 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and lemon juice. Tie 1 bay leaf, peppercorns and allspice in a large square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag; add to saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil gently 7 minutes. Drain vegetables; add to pickling liquid in saucepan; return to a full boil. Discard spice bag.
  • Place 1 bay leaf, 1 lemon slice and 1 clove garlic in a hot jar. Pack cucumbers and pepper into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top of jar. Add hot pickling liquid to cover vegetables to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more vegetables and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining vegetables and hot liquid.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.