I’ve posted a couple of recipes by special request in the past, and now that I’ve mentioned (here, on Facebook, and on Twitter) that I’m back into preserving season, a few followers have asked me to do so again with some of my canning recipes. First up, the easiest dill pickle recipe you’ll ever make. 🙂
4 lbs (2 quarts) small pickling cucumbers (4 inches long or smaller — if you’re using larger ones, you’ll need to halve or quarter them lengthwise)
6 T. pickling salt
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
dill seed (or fresh dill weed heads)
peeled garlic cloves (optional)
Wash cucumbers*. Combine salt, vinegar, and water and bring to a boil. Pack cucumbers into hot jars**. For each pint jar, add 1 tsp dill seed (or 1 dill head) and 1 clove of garlic (if using). Double those amounts for quarts. Fill jars with hot vinegar solution, leaving 1/2 inch head space for quarts and 1/4 inch for pints. Process in boiling water bath: 10 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts. Then, practice patience: leave for at least 2 weeks before trying them! Makes 6 pints.
*for the crispest possible pickles, try to process your cucumbers on the same day that they’re picked. If you can’t, soak them a sink of ice water for a couple of hours before you use them. I also remove the blossom end of the cucumber…while the jury is divided on this, some home-canners claim that leaving the blossom end on contributes to softening. I’ve decided to err on the side of caution. 😉
**current safety standards state that jars you’ll be processing for 10 minutes or more in a hot water bath do not need to be sterilized. Using hot jars (I take mine straight from the dishwasher) just helps prevent breakage when you’re adding the hot vinegar solution.
NOTE: if you’re new to canning, these pickles are one of the most foolproof things you can try. If you’re really new at it, I highly recommend the website Simply Canning for great step-by-step instructions and all the information you could possibly need.