Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Dill Pickles

Last weekend, I made refrigerator pickles.  Today I picked up some pickle crisp and made regular dill pickles.  This is the easiest dill pickle recipe you can make.  It's also easy to scale up or down depending on how many cucumbers you have.  An all around great canning recipe!

Quick Dill Pickles
Makes 4-6 pints (depending on how you cut the cucumbers)
3 pounds cucumbers
3c white vinegar
3c water
3Tbsp pickling salt
4-6 cloves garlic
4-6 sprigs of fresh dill OR 4-6tsp dill seed
about 1tsp pickle crisp (optional, but makes a much tastier pickle in my opinion)

1.  Prepare canning jars and lids and canner.  Put the jars in the canner so they warm up.

2. Wash the cucumbers and slice the blossom end off (the blossom end has enzymes that will soften the pickles).
3. Slice the pickles to your preference.  For this go around, I used my mandolin to make uniform slices, but you could also cut the cucumbers into spears, or slice them length-wise to make sandwich slices.  If you do something like spears that are easier to pack tightly in the jar, you may end up with fewer jars and need less pickling solution.

4. Mix the vinegar, water and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
5. Put one clove of garlic and a sprig of dill or 1tsp dill seed in each jar (the jars should be hot)
6. Pack the cucumbers into the jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space.  Put a heaping 1/8tsp pickle crisp on top of the cucumbers (1/4tsp pickle crisp if you are using quart jars).
7.  Pour the hot pickling solution over the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.

8.  Apply lids and bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes if you're doing quarts).  Adjust times if you are at an altitude about 1,000feet.

If you are new to boiling water bath canning, I suggest you read the guide at the National Center for Home Food Preservation before you get started.

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