I’ve been house- and dog-sitting this week in Portland. I love Portland, Oregon. Kinda the big city and kinda not. Always a lot of activities going on all the time, especially during the summer months. Never a dull moment! And house-sitting means I have access to a big stove and an oven so I’ve been baking stuff and… and making pickles! I still have a few days left on this gig so I’m sure I can find something else to take advantage of, like electricity – maybe I’ll go get my sewing machine from Li’l Homey the Trailer and do some mending, or maybe even real sewing. We’ll see! In the meantime, I’ve been asked to share my dill pickle recipe so here goes.
Dill pickles are fairly simple and easy to make. I’m figuring you already have the jars and lids, the canning pot and jar lifter so I’ll just jump right into the recipe. (If you need directions on what kind of equipment you need to get or how to can using the water bath method, CLICK HERE.) This week, I made both kosher dills and dills with a few extra spices in them to give a little different flavor; the recipe below will cover plain ol’ dills with notes on making garlic or kosher dills or adding other spices for dills with another twist.
The following is my own recipe, tweaked from several others – if you Google it, you’ll find most recipes are very similar; this recipe can be easily doubled.
Fast and Easy Dill Pickles
Ingredients to make 3-4 pints of pickles:
- 8-10 pickling cucumbers, about 3 pounds or so
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt (don’t use regular table salt; get pickling salt)
- 4-6 stalks of fresh dill OR 4-5 teaspoons dill seeds
- Wash the cucumbers to remove any dirt (I don’t scrub them, just rinse them off). Remove any stems or flowers. To make whole dill pickles, leave them as is. To make spears, slice in half lengthwise, rotate and slice in half lengthwise again. To make slices, cut each cucumber across to make uniform slices.
- Trim the heads and sprigs off the dill stalks and discard the stalks.
- Combine vinegar, water and salt into saucepan and bring to boil. Turn off heat as soon as it boils. Salt should be completely dissolved.
- Into sterilized jars, place 1-2 heads or sprigs of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dill seeds. Pack the cucumbers into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch room at the top.
- Pour boiling vinegar mixture into jars, leaving 1/2 inch air space at top.
- Wipe the glass rims with a clean cloth or paper towel, and place the canning lids and rings on the jars.
- Process in a water bath for 10 minutes (for pints).
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- To make a little sweeter dill pickle, add up to 1 tablespoon sugar to the vinegar mixture before it comes to a boil to make sure it dissolves completely.
- To make kosher dills or garlic dills, place one or two (or more if you’d like!) peeled (and smashed, if desired) garlic cloves in the bottom of the jars.
- To add spices, place any or all of the following in the bottom of the jars: a few cardamom seeds, several peppercorns, a couple of whole allspice, a few mustard seeds. Place one or two whole bay leaves between the cucumbers and the glass of the jar (you could put them anywhere in the jar – I just think they look cool along the side!)
- The number of pints this recipe makes will vary depending on the size of the cucumbers and whether or not the cucumbers are whole.
If you try my recipe or if you’re inspired to try a different recipe such as Bread and Butter or Sweet Pickles, let me know! And please share your recipes!
See you on the road somewhere with a jar of pickles!
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For more photos of the this week’s Pickle Project, CLICK HERE.