I’ve pickled a few things by now–dilly beans, radishes, made salsas–but until now I have yet to have made actual pickles. I’ve always been a bit anxious of the process. The whole fermentation thing and how long they can take is a bit daunting. But this year I was ready.
I scanned through my canning books to find some not so scary recipes involving actual cucumbers. I ended up with some Bread & Butter Chips and Dill Pickles. On a side note, I never really realized you can’t can half sour pickles (MY FAVORITE!), only make them as refrigerator pickles. Since my point in canning was to have pickles in the winter, I skipped the refrigerator pickles and went with these two recipes.
Bread & Butter Chips (From Put ‘Em Up) -Makes 7 Pints
- 5 lb cucumbers, ends removed, sliced into 1/4″ coins
- 1 lb large onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 4 cups white, distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard seed
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp celery seed
- 1 tbsp turmeric
Layer the cukes and onions with 1/2 cup of salt in a (very) large bowl and cover with a layer of ice cubes. Set aside for 2 hours. Drain and rinse in a colander.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, peppercorns, celery seed, tumeric, and the remaining 1 tbsp salt in a large, nonreactive saucepan (no aluminum!) and bring to a boil. Add the drained vegetables and return to a boil, stirring to ensure that all of the vegetables are heated through. Remove from heat.
Ladle into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/4 in headspace. Whip rims clean. Center lids on jars and screw on bands. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let sit for 24 hours. Check jars for seal. Lable and store sealed jars for up to 1 year.
Quickest Kosher Dills (from Canning for a New Generation) – Makes 4 pints
- 3 pounds kirby cukes (3-4in long)
- 2 c cider vinager
- 2 c water
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh dill
- 4 garlic cloves
- 8 tsp pickling spice
Remove the blossom end of cucumbers; cut into quarters.In a nonreactive pot combine vinegar, water and salt and bring to a boil. Working quickly, put a few sprigs of dill in each hot pint jar. Divide garlic and spices among jars. Pack the cucumber quarters or slices tightly. Ladle hot vinegar mixture into the packed jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims and put the lids on. Screw on the rings until they are just finer tight.
Process jars for 10 minutes in hot water bath, where they should be covered by one inch of water. Remove the jars to a towel and leave for 12 hours. Check after an hour or two and if any jars haven’t sealed (if you can still press the lid down), put them in the fridge immediately. Label sealed jars and store.
There’s still PLENTY of kirbys out there at the markets, so get to pickling!