Thursday, August 1, 2013

Deli Dills

My daughter is obsessed with deli dills, so I might as well try to make them at home for her.  This recipe came from the book "Ball Complete Book of Preserving" edited by Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine.  (My new canning bible!)

Sorry, no pictures, but I will add them when I get a chance.

A friend of mine asked me to post the recipe for dills that I have been making this summer.  I have not completed a batch of these as of yet (Aug 1, 2013) but, I'm excited about these, and so far... they seem to be working.

These are whole pickles.  If I have a cucumber bigger than 4 inches (the height of my pint jar) and bigger 1 1/2 inches thick, I cut to fit, and quarter it lengthwise to fit.  I'm 1 week into my first batch, and taste tested.  Not there yet, but I have high hopes for tasty dills later.  My daughter is obsessed with deli dills, so I might as well try to make them at home for her.

Here's the recipe...

Deli Dills

3/4 c. pickling spice, divided (1/2 c. & 1/4 c.)
2-3 bunches of dill or 3-4 TBSP of dill seed
10 lbs. of pickling cucumbers  (4 inches long, blossom end trimmed off)
1 1/2 c. pickling salt
2 c. white vinegar
32 c. water
6 cloves garlic (optional)

Stage 1:
1)  In large clean crock, glass, or stainless steel container, place 1/2 c. pickling spice and 1 bunch of dill.  (2 TBSP)  Add trimmed cucumbers, leaving at least 4 inches of space between cukes & rim of container.  Set aside.
2)  In large stainless steel pot, combine pickling salt, vinegar, & water.  Bring to a boil over med.-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.  Remove from heat & let cool to room temp.
3)  Ladle pickling liquid over cukes to cover.  Add remaining dill & spice over the top.  Add garlic, if using.  Place a large clean inverted plate weighted down.  Cover with a clean heavy towel.  Let stand in cool plate (70 to 75 degrees) for about 3 weeks--until cucumbers are flavored with dill & clear throughout.  Everyday, remove any scum that has formed.  During fermentation, gas bubbles will form.  When bubbling ceases, fermentation is complete.

Stage 2:
1)  Prepare canner, jars & lids.
2)  Drain pickles, reserving brine.  Set pickles aside.  Strain brine into a large stainless steel pot.  Bring to boil over med.-high heat.  Reduce heat & boil gently for 5 min.
3)  Pack pickles into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch headspace.  ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover pickles leaving 1/2" headspace.  Remove air bubbles & adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot liquid.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
4)  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 min.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 min. then remove jars.  cool, then store.