Friday, September 5, 2014

Dill Pickles #1

By request, I'm putting up my current dill pickle recipe. I'll be upfront and say this recipe probably still needs some tweeks. Last time I made them they got a "pretty good" rating. To be fair, they were matched against my spicy B &B pickles, which are my favorite. Generally if I'm making dill pickles I like the fresh variety and use my Half-Sours with some dill added in, but those aren't the dill pickles people think of when they buy a jar at the mega mart. Further the higher vinegar ratio of this recipe allows it to stay preserved longer.
So here's what we have so far.

Dill Pickles #1
  • ~10 pickling cucumbers, sliced into spears or chips
  • 4 Cups white vinegar
  • 4 Cups water
  • 3/4 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup pickling salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp pickling spices
  • bay leaves
  • garlic cloves
  • dills
  • mustard seed
  • Pickle Crisp
The Process
  1. Bring boiling water canner to a boil and sterilize 5-6 pint jars.
  2. In a separate pot, bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and pickling spice to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes to dissolve sugar and salt and pull flavor from the pepper and spices
  3. One at a time, remove the jars, dump water and carefully cold pack the cucumbers in the jar along with 1 garlic clove, one bay leaf, 1/2 tsp mustard seed, 1/4 tsp of Pickle Crisp, and two sprigs of dill.
  4. Pour in Brine leaving one inch of head room. Wipe, seal, and return to boiling water.
  5. Process these jars for 15 minutes following standard water bath canning methods.
Pickles are ready to eat after two weeks, but achieve full flavor after a month. Home canned goods like this are good for about two years.

The Results

Like I said above, these were good. I don't know how I'm going to change them yet. The red pepper was too weak to really taste over the vinegar and salt, so I may increase that in the future, or else drop it entirely. I also think for ease you can switch the garlic cloves for 1/2 tsp of minced, I bet it would do just as well.

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