What to do with extra cucumbers — other than eating them fresh in salad, or juice form? Make some pickles! My husband prefers dill cucumber pickles over bread & butter pickles (the sweet and sour). I eat both, but when I am canning I make more dill cucumber pickles. It is very easy. If you don’t have everything as listed in this recipe, it’s okay, as long as you have the main ingredients:cucumbers, vinegar/lemon juice, water, salt… and a few other common spices like garlic, onion bulb or green onions, you can make pickles. 🙂 Have fun and enjoy your pickles!
DILL(Cucumber) PICKLES :Homemade with Lemon Brine Option
Things needed: Water-bath canner, canning (mason) jars with rings & lids, jar lifter, see canning instruction here for more information. The recipe below is made for a batch of pickles — 7 jars. Adjust the amount of ingredients if necessary.
Note: You can make a Refrigerated Dill Cucumber Pickles using this recipe –without doing the water bath, canning process.
cucumbers – half an inch, round sliced (or whole small cucumbers or cut into wedges)
water – 8 cups
organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice- 2 and 1/2 (to 3 cups for a stronger brine)
salt (preferably pickling salt) – 3/4 cups (to 1 cup for stronger brine)
garlic cloves (peeled) – 14 pieces
onions – strip slices
dill seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar (fresh dill leaves can also be used)
mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar
coriander seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar (optional)
young grape leaves – 14 pieces
1. Prepare all the canning materials: Wash jars in hot soapy water (or in a dishwasher), rinse and set aside. Read here for more information and instructions on canning.
2. Prepare all the pickle ingredients: Cucumbers rinsed and sliced. Garlic peeled, and onion sliced.
3. Boil 8 cups of water, apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), salt, in a bigger pot. Set aside when done. In another small pot, boil some water with the canning rings and lids in it. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Note: Increase the amount of cider vinegar or lemon if you want stronger (higher acidity) brine. Increase also the amount of salt.
4. Fill jars: Place 1 garlic piece at the bottom of each jar, 1 grape leaf (to keep the cucumbers fresher and crispier longer in jars), along with dill seeds (or dill leaves), mustard seeds, coriander seeds. Tightly load the cucumbers into the jar. Arrange well by pressing the cucumbers and onions tightly. Fill jars up to the neck, leaving about an inch space for boiling and sealing. Add the last grape leaf on top with some more onion slices, and 1 garlic piece.
5. Once the jars are filled, pour the brine into the jars (using a canning funnel). Leave an inch space from the rim. Wipe the rims with a damp washcloth. Put lids and rings on, tightening evenly.
6. Place filled jars into the canning pot, with water just to the necks of the jars. Bring water to a boil for about 10 minutes — depending on how fast the water heats up. Some preparations only require to keep the pickles-filled-jars in an almost boiling water to prevent the cucumbers from getting too soft —not leaving the pickles boiling for too long in the water.
7. After the process, remove jars using a jar lifter. Set on a towel and let it cool. Avoid extreme temperature change. Cover the top with another towel if necessary.
8. After jars have cooled off; check for seal, lids have to be sucked down, not bulged out. Pickles in unsealed jars can be consumed first or be put in the refrigerator. Label jars or lids: name of the finished product, date or year. (Ex. Dill Cucumber Pickles (A.Cider), 2015). Store in dark, cool temperature.
Suggested Measurement for smaller batches: (If for some reason your brine preparation was not enough)
3 cups water
1 and 1/2 cups – cider vinegar/freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 and 1/2 – 3 tablespoon salt (preferably canning salt because it is pure, no anti-caking agent)