21 August 2008

Pick a Peck of Pickles

Lots of folks have landed on this blog recently through Google searches for a quick dill pickle recipe. That's the recipe we used, from Putting Food By, to make pickles a few weeks ago and I promised in the comments that I'd post the recipe here.

Quick Dill Pickles (7 [questionable] pints)


  • 30 to 40 medium pickling-type cucumbers, 5 inches long
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 1 quart water
  • 7 fresh dill heads
  • (optional) 7 garlic cloves
  • (optional) 3 tablespoons mixed whole pickling spices
Mix together the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water and bring to a boil. Tie optional pickling spices loosely in a thin white cloth and boil in the vinegar mixture for about 10 minutes; remove and discard. Scrub cucumbers, remove stems and blossom ends; cut lengthwise in haves or quarters, not longer than the shoulder-height of the jar. Put 1 whole head of fresh dill in each clean hot jar. Pack the jars with cut cucumber upright, then tuck in a clove of garlic if you like it. Pour in the boiling vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. Adjust lids. Process in a 185 F/85 C water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars, complete seals if necessary.

Greene, Janet, Ruth Hertzberg, and Beatrice Vaughan. Putting Food By. 4th ed. Plume: New York, 1991.

This recipe is great and it worked really well for us, but here are some things we wish we'd have known beforehand:

Anyone who can make this fit into the seven pint jars that the recipe asks for has some kind of special hold over the laws of physics. We used half as many cukes and filled eight pints.

We also ran out of the vinegar/water stuff and had to make a new batch to fill the last jar and a half. Basically, the quantities seem kinda off. Have extra jars and extra vinegar stuff on hand.

We used extra dill and it still didn't look like quite enough. If you like your dill pickles to be very dill-y, then keep lots dill on hand as well.

And of course, we put in tons of garlic.


Lewru said...

What are your thoughts on the sugar? I've been leery of adding it to pickles because I hate any sweetness in pickles (bread and butter are my bane).

Anonymous said...

I agree with lewru about the sugar but my real problem is pickling salt and pickling spices.

What are they and where do I get them? I have just been using sea salt, dill and garlic and the occasional chili pepper. My kids like them though....