August 05, 2010

Cold Pack Dill Pickles

I went to the farmers market on Sunday and found a guy who had pickling cukes for $1 lb. Since I haven't seen any yet, anywhere I thought that was a decent price and bought 4lbs. So finally yesterday I was able to get to making them. I had fresh dill growing out on my back porch in a pot. It was 4ft. high and full of flower heads, so it was perfect to use. I cut a bunch and prepared to make these. It takes about 6wks in a jar once processed so we will see just how good these turn out. If you want to try's the recipe.
Cold Pack Dill Pickles

Prepare the cucumbers by removing 1/16 inch from the blossom end of each. You need to remove that tiny little sliver because there is an enzyme that remains in the blossom end of cucumbers which will cause your pickles to become soft while in storage. Cut into halves or quarters as you wish.

Wash your jars, lids and bands in good, hot soapy water. Rinse them well making sure all traces of soap are removed. Set the bands aside. Place the lids in barely simmering water and leave them there until they are needed later in the process. Fill the canner with water and and bring it to the boil. I like to put my jars in the canner and let them heat up along with the water. Some people hold them in a 200 degree oven. I also will sometimes just wash them and keep them filled with hot water till ready to use. You always want to fill hot jars. Putting hot food in a cold jar can cause breakage. Putting a cold jar of food into boiling water is just asking for it too. 

Adjust the amounts according to the number of quarts you’re making. I like to  make these pickles in quart jars so that I can keep the cucumber halves intact. If using pints, you’d need to cut the halves across and use only half the amounts I give for each jar.

Cucumbers, pickling type
Pickling salt
Vinegar, 5% acidity
Dill seed or fresh dill heads
Black peppercorns

For each quart of pickles, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar to the boil.

Meanwhile, in each jar place 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt, 1 tablespoon dill seed (or 3 heads fresh dill), 6 black peppercorns and 2 halved garlic cloves. Note that each dill head counts as a teaspoon of dill seed.

Pack the halved or quartered cucumbers into the hot jars. Using a canning funnel, pour the boiling vinegar and water solution over the jar contents leaving 1/2 inch of headspace (the space between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar).
Wipe the top rim of each jar carefully with a dampened paper towel. This is to make sure that there is nothing on there which would prevent the lid from forming a complete seal. Place the lids on top of the jars and screw on the rings until just finger tight. Don’t force the rings or tighten too much. The jars have to be able to expel air during the canning process in order to create the seal.

Place the jars in the canner rack and lower them into the simmering hot water. Make sure jars are covered with 1-2 in. of water. If not, add hot water and bring to a boil before beginning timing. Place the cover on the pot. Process in simmering hot water (180-185 degrees) for 15 minutes (low temp pasteurization method).

Store the jars in a dark, cool place. I recommend six weeks of standing time for the flavors to fully develop.

***NOTE: I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes to each jar.


Cara @ I Love My Sheets said...

Oh these sound wonderful. I remember my mom doing this when I was young but I've never tried it myself! Thanks for stopping by earlier! It's good to "meet" you.

Fearless Nester said...

Oh Wow! This was such a great tutorial for someone like me who has only canned once (crabapple jelly). Thanks for coming over and letting me know that you wrote a pickle post too. Your pickle post is WONDERFUL! ~Lili

Dr. Anders Cohen, brooklyn, NY said...

I love my pickles cold and dipped in vinegar. Damn I miss those days where I can eat fresh pickles.

lemonverbenalady said...

I love dill pickles and they weren't crisp! You need to send me your mailing address because you won a prize in my anniversary contest! Congrats! Nancy

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