When we were planning the raised beds and this year's veggie garden, Greg made a point of asking for cucumbers to make pickles. I made sure we were both on the same page with that - if he wanted pickles, he'd be making them. Last night was his first canning lesson as we worked together and made our first batch of dill pickles. The cucumbers and dill came from our garden. Greg used the Pampered Chef mandoline to make some wavy hamburger slices, and I cut some short spears. These are half-pint jars, because I don't like huge jars in the frig, and I think they'll work great for getting eaten before the contents gets old. I will pick up some larger jars, though, so we can have some longer spears. We won't be able to taste them for a few weeks, as they need time to develop their flavor. I'll definitely post a review when we're able to sample them!
This recipe came from Allrecipes.com. We did not do the hot water bath, but if you read the feedback, you find that the original recipe did not include those directions. Also, the original recipe was for 64 servings - I used the recalculation function on the web site and pared that down to 12 servings. For the eight half-pint jars we put up, we had to make two batches of brine, then ended up with about half of the second batch leftover. I'll readjust the servings depending on the quantity of cucumbers each time we make this recipe.
"This recipe for Kosher style dills was given to me 25 years ago by a farmers wife who grew cucumbers and it has never let me down. The two things I have found critical to crisp dill pickles are soaking the cukes in ice water for at least 2 hours and ensuring the brine is at a full boil when poured over the dills."
1-1/2 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
3/4 cup white vinegar
2-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1-1/2 sprigs fresh dill weed
1-1/2 heads fresh dill weed
You have scaled this recipe's ingredients to yield a new amount (12). The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield (64).
1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required.
Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.
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