Dill Pickles!

With the pickling cucumbers coming on soon (are you on the picking list??), I thought I’d share my favorite dill pickle recipe.  It’s not a recipe I came up with – it’s from Allrecipes.com, but it’s delicious! We made pickles from this recipe last year.  You have to let them sit for 8 weeks before you get to eat them, but they are worth the wait!

We followed the recipe author’s tip of “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.” The pickles came out crunchy and wonderfully dilly!

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 12 cups water
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
  • 8 heads fresh dill weed

Directions

  1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink (I use the bathtub!) 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.

Just as a reminder, don’t forget to add 5-10 minutes processing time to adjust for altitude.  Also, last year we were short on heads of fresh dill weed.  We found that substituting 1½ teaspoons dill seed for each head of dill worked well.

posted by Anisa @ The Schell Urban Homestead
photo by working member, Brandon Gray

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