Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crispy Kosher Dill Pickles

This recipe is based on the Bell Blue Book recipe but it does use less sugar. Do follow proper canning procedures and review a resource if you're new to canning or it's been a while. These pickles are great on burgers, as a side, and can be eaten the next day, but the point of making them is to put them up for later. 

I'm slowly learning how much to make of things in terms of a year's supply now that I have a basement. Pickles are best made with fairly small cucumbers, about 4 to 6-inches long. This size cucumbers can easily be found at farmers markets, roadside stands, and produce auctions. If you take up pickling to any degree, you'll likely find the best deals come from either your own garden or a produce auction. However, I did get this peck (a big box with a handle) at the Athens Farmers Market.


Crispy Kosher Dill Pickles

Yields 3 quarts.

Useful Equipment
Quart jars with lids and bands for pickling
Water bath Pot for canning + canning equipment

Ingredients
  • Cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches, 1 peck, wash, cut in half or quarters lengthwise (depending on size)
  • Water, 1 quart (4 cups)
  • White Vinegar, 1 quart (4 cups)
  • Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Pickling Salt, 1/2 cup
  • Pickling Spice Mix, 1 Tbsp per pint jar
  • Dill head, 1 per jar
  • Bay Leaf, 1 per jar 
  • Ball Pickle Crisp, 1/4 tsp per quart jar
  • Clove of Garlic, 1 per jar (optional)
  • Dried Chili Pepper, 1 per jar (optional)
Directions
  1. Wash and clean jars and lids. Use new lids. Reuse bands.
  2. Heat jars in oven to 250ºF for 30 minutes.
  3. Bring lids to simmer in pot on the stove.
  4. Over low flame, heat pot for water bath with lid while preparing the pickles.
  5. Rinse, drain, and cut cucumbers.
  6. Add spice mix, dill head, bay leaf, pickle crisp, garlic clove (if using), and chili pepper (if using) to each jar.
  7. Bring pickling juice ingredients: water, vinegar, sugar, and pickling salt to boil over medium heat, stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Pour hot liquid into the jars over the cucumbers and spices. 
  8. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth.
  9. Place lid.
  10. Seal with band to finger tight (just tight).
  11. Place jars into water bath and bring to boil. Start processing time from when it begins to boil, process for 15 minutes.
  12. Check seals. Anything that doesn’t seal, store in fridge and use within the week.
  13. Label jars.
  14. Use within a year