Monday, July 29, 2013

Easy Garlic Dill Pickles

I love dill pickles. My family loves dill pickles. My friends love dill pickles (well, most of them).  I go through a lot of jars of dills in a year!  For non-fermented dill pickles, this recipe has worked the best for me- they end up full of garlicy, dilly goodness.

Recipe

2-3 lbs of pickling cucumbers
Dill weed (about 10 individual heads, or more)
Garlic (about 20 garlic bulbs are needed)

Pickling solution:
2 cups of vinegar
2 cups of water (filtered water preferably)
2 tbsp of pickling salt
Pinch of sugar if you don't like a vinegary, strong tasting pickle

I usually get about 5 pint sized jars from this recipe.

To get started, prep your garlic by getting the bulbs ready.



Then, wash the cucumbers well, giving them a scrub to remove any dirt that may be on them. Do not use store bought cucumbers as they have a wax on them.  You need to use fresh cucumbers from the garden or farmers market; Kirby is one variety that is grown for pickling use- they're smaller, crunchier and don't have any wax on them.  You'll need to use them up quickly- they don't last much longer than 24 hours once you have them.

Into sterilized jars, add your garlic and dill weed.  I cut the head off of the dill plant and put the heads/tops in the jar- I usually put two per jar. I also put at least 2 garlic bulbs-- sometimes as many as 4 if they're small-- cut in half, in each jar.  You can then decide if you want whole pickles, pickle spears, or pickle slices.  (Tip: snip the blossom end off of the cucumber before you use it- leaving it on can alter the taste of your pickle.) Prep the cucumbers to match whatever your preference is, and then add the pickles to the jars. Bring your pickling solution to a boil, then pour it into the jars. Leave 1/4" head space at the top of each jar.



Once you have filled your jars, it's time to follow safe canning procedures to seal the jars properly, unless you just want to make fridge pickles in which case you can seal them up and put them in the fridge.  To safely store them in a cupboard, process them in a hot water bath (rolling boil, completely covered) for ten minutes.  For information about safe canning procedures, please read my previous posts.

That's all there is to it. The pickles are good to go after about a week- the flavour has settled in nicely by then. Enjoy!


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