Preserving

Dill Pickles

I had gotten a deal on 50 pounds of pickling cucumbers, so I got busy!

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In the end I made about 4 batches of these pickles.

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Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 8 pounds small cucumbers, 4 to 6 inches length
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canning salt
  • 1 quart white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 3 Tbsp pickling spice (see notes)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • Pickle Crisp

Directions:

Wash/scrub cucumbers and let air dry on paper towels. Trim off both ends of each cucumber, then slice.

Bring a canning kettle half full of water to a boil, add in 3 quart or 7  pint jars while doing so.

In a large non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel or non-stick), combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Add spices to a piece of cheesecloth, or small bag, tie to pot and let float in vinegar, simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, lay out a clean kitchen towel, pull out the jars and drain, sterilize a canning funnel, ladle, and a chopstick or tool for removing air bubbles.

Wash and dry dill, cut off flower head for each jar. Place in the bottom. Pack cucumbers into the warm canning jars, pushing down as needed for a tight pack. Ladle hot liquid over, run a chopstick or tool around the edge inside, to release air bubbles. Add more liquid, if needed, to have a ½” headspace. Add in 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisp for pints, ¼ tsp for quarts, if desired. Wipe off rims with a damp new paper towel. Place on a new canning lid, and tighten a band to finger-tip tight.

Place jars in canning rack, lower into water, making sure the jars are fully covered by water. Return to a boil, covered. Once boiling, process for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack covered with a clean kitchen towel. Let cool, check that all the seals are flat. If any flex, refrigerate and use within a few months.

Makes about 5 pints.

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Notes:

Pickles taste best when they have had a few weeks on the shelf, for the flavors to develop.

Pickle Crisp isn’t needed, but it does help with ensuring you have, well, a crisp pickle! It is calcium chloride.

If you happen to have leftover pickles and liquid, just pop them into a small clean jar, and leave them in the refrigerator – they will become tasty refrigerator pickles in a few weeks!

Pickling spice can be found in canning sections, bulk herb sections or make your own in bulk if you are like me…

Pickling Spice

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 3 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 3 2″ cinnamon sticks

Directions:

Blend together, store tightly sealed in a glass jar. Shake before using.

Yields about 1 cup.

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