I’m the only person in our house that eats pickles. I’m not sure what’s wrong with everyone else. But I remember drinking the brine out of the jar as a kid – I love it! When I was shopping recently I found store bought pickles full of artificial flavors, colors and other things that scared me. Why were they doing that to my beloved pickles? They should be simple, in a nice salty brine with spices, garlic and just simple. So I set off to find a way to make them myself. All I found though was large batch brining methods, not long term storage that was similar to what I wanted. I sure didn’t want bread and butter pickles – just simple dills. So, I mixed and matched some recipes and came up with this recipe. They are shelf stable, don’t have any artificial anything in them – and pretty darn simple to make! Great in slices or spears. I do want to thank Sarah from Siblings Savers for helping with my insane recipe search! She sent me some scans of her Great Grandmother’s recipes to look over to find one that would fit what I was looking for!
The hardest part of this recipe – waiting to eat them!
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Pickling Salt
- 8 cups Vinegar 5% acidity
- 3 cups Water
- 6 lbs Picking Cucumbers, cut into spears or slices – blossom end removed
- 8 cloves Garlic, crushed (1 for each jar)
- Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp per Jar
- Black Peppercorns – 4 per jar
- Red Pepper Flakes 1/4 tsp per jar
- Whole Dill seeds – 1/2 tsp per jar
- 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisp (per jar)
- Hand pack your pickle slices or spears into your jars. Add in your crushed garlic and spoon your spices on top.
- In a medium sauce pan (non aluminum) add in your salt, sugar, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and stir until your sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Ladle your hot vinegar mixture over your pickles, leaving 1/2 inch head space. It’s ok if your Pickles stick up above this, they will settle in processing.
- Place your lid and bands on and process with the instructions below!
- Place 8 clean pint jars on a rack in your stock pot. Fill the jars and stock pot with cool water until it completely covers the top of the jars. Cover and put on medium heat. Simmer but do not boil.
- Prepare 8 lid sets, put the bands aside and put the flat lids in a small sauce pan and put on medium heat. Do not boil, but keep warm through the whole process.
- Prepare your ingredients according to the directions above.
- Now, remove the jars from the warm bath. Tip them as you pull them out and pour the water back into the pan. Place them on a towel on the counter with the opening up. Do not dry them! Just put them down and put the funnel in. Put your ingredients in your jars. into each jar until there is about 1/2 inch of space in the top. Once all jars are full, take a plastic or wooden utensil and move it around to get extra air bubbles out.
- Take the small magnet tool and remove flat lids from their hot bath. Place over top of each jar. By hand screw on the collars, but not too tight! Remember some air still needs to get out of each jar.
- Place the jars back into the hot stock pot and replace the lid. Turn your temperature up to high. When it starts to do a rolling boil, start a timer for 10 minutes.
- After the jars have processed for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid to the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove all the jars without tipping them and place them back on the towel. Remember – don’t towel them off!
The hard part: Now that your pickles are processed, they need to sit in their brine and wait… 4-6 weeks! Trust me it’s worth it!