I had an overabundance of cucumbers from the garden this year. The pickling cucumber varieties did really well. So I made pickles and relish. Last year I tried one of the recipes on allrecipes and it was way too salty. This time I also went with the lower temperature longer time canning bath (pasteurization) for the dill pickles.
After more research in 2012, I would not recommend this as a shelf stable recipe. We kept these pickles in the refrigerator and it was fine. The reason I’m leery of saying these can be shelf stable is that the water to vinegar ratio is 2:1. After looking at the NCHFP recipe I’d rather say these should be refrigerated. I will be posting a new recipe with taste tests after my pickles for 2012 have had a chance to sit for a few weeks more.
Recipe: Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- 1 Tbsp dill seed per jar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
- 1/8 tsp mustard seed per jar
- 12 black peppercorns per jar
- 2 sprigs fresh dillweed
- 6 cups vinegar
- 12 cups water
- 1/3 cup sea salt (with no anti-caking agents)
- Wash and scrub the cucumbers, removing any of the spines or hairs with either a scrubby or the back of a butter knife.
- Crisp the cucumbers by placing them in a bowl with ice and cover with water for two hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cut off the blossom end of the cucumbers, as the blossom end contains an enzyme that makes pickles go mushy – or so people have said around the Internet.
- Boil the jars in the canning pot and lids (in a separate pot if you prefer) for 10 minutes, remove from the boiling water and put on a clean towel on the counter.
- Fill each jar with 1 tbsp dill seed, 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, 1/8 tsp mustard seed, 12 black peppercorns.
- Fill the jars as tightly as possible with the cucumbers. The ones in my garden sometimes reach escape velocity and I have to slice some of them or cut them in half to fit more than three per jar. Note that if you slice them, they will likely be less crisp.
- Top the cucumbers with the two sprigs of dill jammed in.
- Boil the brine and simmer for five minutes.
- Fill each of the jars with the brine, leaving about 1 cm of headspace.
- Refrigerate after jars have cooled.
- Wait a week or so for the brine to absorb into the cucumber.