Monday, August 19, 2013

Recipe: Dill Pickles

It's that time of year again...

Two things that are important to crisp dill pickles are (1) soaking the cukes for at least 2 hours in ice water, and (2) ensuring the brine is at a full boil before pouring over the dills.

8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white wine vinegar (5% acetic acid)  Important don't use a less acetic vinegar
12 cups water
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed

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 - 1quart canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt.  Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

In each jar, place 2 half cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar.  Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 spring of dill.  Fill jars with hot brine.  Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath.  Process quart jars for 15 minutes.

Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating.  Refrigerate after opening.
Pickles will keep for 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

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