I've been so distracted by pies and tarts recently, that after my wild success with pickled beets I nearly forgot about my goal to make more pickles this summer, for shame! Luckily, I ran into a giant crate of Kirby cucumbers the other day to remind me to get back to brining. I chose a classic dilly recipe full of ingredients I always have on hand (except the dill seeds, which were easy to find) for my cukes which was perfect for a novice pickler like me. From start to finish, this recipe took less than 30 minutes (plus the curing time) and they are perfectly garlicy and spicy with a nice vinegary bite, the only problem is that I drastically underestimated how many pickles my household was capable of eating in a week. I guess it's back to the stove for me...
I'm pretty excited to pick up some more cucumbers to make another batch of these guys and now that I am well on my way to becoming a pickle pro, I think I'll whip up batch of bread and butter pickles to tuck into my sandwiches. I might even have to find a crinkle cutter for those classic pickle-chip ridges.
Classic Dill Pickles
adapted from the Food in Jars Cookbook
yield, 4 pints of pickles
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons pickling salt
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
4 teaspoons dill seed, divided
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, divided
1 overflowing pint pickling cucumbers (I think I fit about 4 small cukes per jar)
1. Prepare and sterilize four pint jars, preferably regular mouth. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer over very low heat.
2. Combine the vinegar, 2 cups water and the pickling salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
3. While the brine is boiling, add 2 garlic cloves, 1/4t red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns to each sterilized jar. Trim the blossom ends from the cucumbers, cut them lengthwise into spears and pack them tightly into the jars. Alternately, you can pickle the cucumbers whole.
4. Carefully pour the hot brine over the cucumbers in each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Gently tap the jars on a kitchen towel to release any air bubbles, then use a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining air bubbles in each jar. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
5. Wipe the rims, and apply the lids and rings to the jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, then let the pickles cure for at least 1 week before eating.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.