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...
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)
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.
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.