9.11.2011

Crisp Garlic Dill Pickles - All Fresh Ingredients Recipe


I thought I had missed the pickling season entirely when Jeff got his job and we had to move at the end of August.  I was resigned to making due with leftover pickles.  Last year I made two kinds of pickles a hot water bath dill pickle from the Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving Recipes and a refrigerator garlic dill from the blog Food in Jars.  We ate all the refrigerator garlic dills because they were delicious and crisp.  We still have half a dozen jars of the soggy, too clove-y and sweet dills from the Ball Blue Book.  Even if we had no other pickles I'm not sure we would finish those jars.  But, I won't have to find out.  I got some pickling cucumbers! 

Several folks told me about Hawkins Family Farm which runs a co-op just outside of North Manchester.  Before we moved I contacted them and they seemed very open to the idea of me working for food.  I've driven out two mornings so far and this exchange is going swimmingly.  Last week I did a bunch of weeding in the beans and pea; harvested peas, beans, corn; and thinned radishes.  Their cucumbers are kind of at the end of the season, but I found enough to pick to make seven quarts of refrigerator garlic dill pickles. 

This recipe is based on Garlic Dill Pickles from Marisa's blog Food in Jars.  I did change the recipe up a bit.  The origonal recipe uses dried spices.  I had access to fresh, so everything but the black peppercorns are straight from the garden.  I also sliced the cucumbers into spears rather than fat coins.  I liked the coins just fine and they are much more forgiving because the length and width of the cucumbers doesn't matter.  However, Jeff likes spears.  Actually he likes the whole little pickles even better, but I couldn't fill seven pints with just whole baby cucumbers.  I did manage one jar of whole ones just for him, but the other six are spears.   also used quart jars rather than pints because they are more space efficient in the refrigerator. 


The pickles are excellent.  They have a nice salty cider vinegar brine with some spice from the jalapeno and black pepper as well as the richness offered by the fresh garlic and dill.  Plus they only took two hours to make start to finish. That includes all the time for me to scrub the cucumbers and take lots of pictures.  The only thing I'll change up next year is to double the jalapeno.  I'll go for a whole one rather than a half.  I like a little more spice. 

These pickles are crisp.  This is why refrigerator pickles are better than hot water bath pickles.  They don't get soggy from seven minutes at a boil.  Sure they take up some extra space in the fridge, but they are worth it.  They are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches like the BLTs, Mushroom Burgers or hearty soups like Yellow Split Pea.  I even got the ultimate complement when Jeff said they taste like his grandma's pickles!

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

Makes approximately 4 quarts (or 8 pints - total yield varies depending on size of cucumbers)

4 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers, sliced into fat coins or spears or use whole little baby ones
4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
5 tablespoons pickling salt
16 garlic cloves, peeled (5 per quart jar)
4 jalapenos (1 per quart jar)
8 heads of dill that have just finished flowering but haven't set seed (2 per quart jar)
4 teaspoons black peppercorns (1 teaspoon per jar)

  1. Start by preparing your jars.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends "sterilizing empty jars, by putting them right side up on the rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute for each additional 1,000 ft. elevation."
     
  2. Wash and slice the cucumbers into which ever shape you wish.  A quick tip when cutting spears, if the center of the cucumber has lots of seeds you can trim the seedy part out.  Here's how I did the spears:
     
  3.  
  4. Arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices (garlic, dill, black peppers and jalepeno) into each. Pack the cucumbers firmly into the jars. You don’t want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight. (The first time I made pickles I failed to do this and wound up with not enough brine and fewer pickles than I would have liked.)
     
  5. Make the brine by combining the cider vinegar, water and salt in a large sauce pot. Bring to a simmer.  Immediately after the brine comes to a simmer pour into the pickles jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.  It is important to not let the brine simmer very long because the evaporation will change your ratios and make the liquid extra vinegary and salty. 
     
  6. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and apply lids and rings.  You could also use the zinc reusable freezer jar lids.  Let the jars cool to room temperature, label them and then put them in the fridge. 
     
  7. Wait until at least overnight before you try them.  The flavors will become stronger as the pickles sit.  These will keep for at least a year. 
Thanks Sarah for letting me taste your pickles and giving me the link to Food in Jars.  This recipe is a keeper!

29 comments:

  1. Delicious! what beautiful photos you take! I'm glad you're all moved in and ready to make pickles!

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  2. I've always wanted to try making my own pickles but the hot water method scares me a little. Can't wait to try your recipe for refrigerator pickles!

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  3. Yum! And fantastic photos...especially the top one.

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  4. These pickles look great! My boyfriend would love it if I made him homemade pickles...I definitely have to try this out.

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  5. I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It's sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

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  6. This is an awesome recipe. I am so down to try pickling! I am saving your recipe!

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  7. This is fantastic!! In India, these kind of pickles are rare. Our Indian pickles require tons of oil, powdered spices and many days of drying in the sun usually :D have had cucumber and dill pickles off the shelf at the supermarkets but now that I know its this easy to make, I'm dying to give it a shot soon :) :)

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  8. Will work for food--what a great gig!!! I made no pickles this year b/c of the heat and aridness of the summer. I did make this heirloom recipe last year and your post reminded me of how good they were: http://eliotseats.com/?p=1103

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  9. I bought half the stuff I need to start canning and pickling. I need to get the other half! I still have time to make some stuff I think These look so fresh and crispy!

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Thanks for great post. I've included it in this week's BBQ Grail 10 Posts Worh A Look. http://wp.me/pwBnV-1YV

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  12. Lovely photos! I haven't tried pickling yet but maybe I will now!
    Ceecee

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  13. Anonymous9/13/2011

    In your instructions, you forgot to put in the garlic, dill, and peppercorns. When do you?

    Jim

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  14. Loving this. My boyfriend has been talking about making pickles! We love garlic and this is something we're excited to try!

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  15. Congrats on the top 9! This looks so yummy!

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  16. These photos are amazing! I've never tried pickling mmyself but this recipe looks totally doable :) Buzzed

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  17. @Jim - I guess I didn't call the spices out by name. You put the garlic, dill and peppers into the empty jars in step 3: "arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices to each".

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  18. Beautiful pickles and photos!

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  19. New follower. Very happy to meet you. Congrats on top 9!

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  20. Congrats on top9! Gorgeous pics! Bet they taste gorgeous too!

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  21. Boy do those look excellent. I need to make these. I love a good Garlic Dill Pickle. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Thanks for posting this, the last recipe we tried for refrigerator pickles they are soggy after only one month...

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  23. Tremendous, magnificent, marvelous, extraordinary, amazing are the word this post deserve. This made me think that verity can be created from scratch.
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  24. This is a great recipe and i am thinking to try this one.
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  25. Thanks for posting this recipe! I put these together tonight, can not wait to try them!!

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  26. Anonymous8/06/2012

    What great pickles. Couln't believe it. Good on day two! Thank you

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  27. I am so excited about this, I love pickles...like I eat them everyday. I can't wait to try this!

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  28. Thank you for sharing this comment. It's very opportune because I am myself going through pains similar to our site it, moreover I am actually planning trying it myself.

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