With cucumber season about to peak in my neck of the woods it's time to start planning out what I'm going to do with all those pickling cucumbers we planted. A classic dill pickle full of robust flavor, is a great place to start. And if you're new to canning they are actually quite easy to make!
2 ½ lbs 3-4 inch pickling cucumbers
2- ½ cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Ball® Salt for Pickling and Preserving
4 cloves garlic
4 small bay leaves
12 dill sprigs
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
4 small hot peppers (optional)
Ball® Pickle Crisp (optional) A pinch of Ball® Pickle Crisp will help keep the crunch.
Makes about 4 (16 oz) pint jars
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
Wash cucumbers and hot peppers in cold water. Slice 1/16 of an inch off the blossom end of each cucumber; trim stem ends so cucumbers measure about 3 inches. Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise.
Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small stainless saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer.
Place 1 garlic clove, 3 dill sprigs, ½ tsp mustard seed, 1 bay leaf and 1 red pepper and Ball® Pickle Crisp (if desired) into a hot jar. Pack cucumber spears into jar, leaving a ½ inch headspace. Trim any cucumbers that are too tall.
Ladle hot brine into a hot jar leaving a ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
Need More Inspiration? Try making the Pork in a Pickle Sandwich with your Kosher Dill Pickles.
4 loaves Cuban bread, or small ciabattas
2 tbsp deli mustard
2 tbsp deli mustard
12 strips of thick-cut bacon, pre-cooked
8 slices roast ham
8 slices Swiss cheese
10 kosher dill pickle spears, each sliced in half lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter
Kosher dill pickles spears to serve
Makes 4 sandwiches
Split each loaf of bread in half width-wise; open halves and spread one side with mustard, one side with mayonnaise. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on the bottom half, add 2 slices ham, 3 strips bacon and 5 pickle spear slices, season with black pepper to taste; top with remaining slice of Swiss cheese. Close sandwich and press firmly down on bread, flattening it slightly.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat, add sandwiches to skillet, top with an additional heavy skillet or sandwich press to weight sandwiches down. Grill 5 minutes on one side, flip sandwich, returning heavy skillet or press, and grill 5-7 minutes more, until bread is a golden color and cheese is melting.
Serve immediately with additional kosher dill pickle spears.
You can find these and other tasty recipes on the Fresh Preserving website.