When you see Kirby cucumbers at the farmer’s market, the only sensible thing to do is to buy them and make pickles immediately. Which is exactly what I did.
Pickles are something that are so nostalgically summer to me, and to be honest I don’t know exactly why … my grandmother had a great pickle recipe, which unfortunately was lost when she passed away. I used to love when she would make pickles though. They were just perfect, but I can’t remember why. I’m guessing she made them in the summer time.
Now I’m on a quest to find my own perfect pickle recipe. Pickles are also something that top American summer favorites like burgers and hot dogs. So perhaps that’s where my feelings of nostalgia arise from. These pickles turned out so well, that I think I will make it a personal tradition for me to make pickles in July from now on.
I really like when cucumbers are kept whole for pickles, but I didn’t have a jar big enough to accommodate. You think that stopped me? Nope. Instead I found a sun tea container buried deep in the back of the pantry and used that. It was WAY too big for the pickles, but still did the job.
I used a recipe I found on Serious Eats. It recommended letting the pickles mellow out for a week, but I actually let them sit for 3 weeks. I tried one after a week and it just wasn’t done. After 3, they were perfection. Spicy, tangy, garlicky … just what I like in a pickle. I can’t stand sweet pickles, so if that’s your thing, this recipe is not for you. Also, we probably can’t be friends.
Garlic Dill Pickles
Recipe from Serious Eats
- 2 quart kirby cucumbers (approximately 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 teaspoons dill seed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Wash jars thoroughly in warm, soapy water. If you plan on making shelf stable pickles, prepare a boiling water bath canner. Put fresh canning jar lids into a small saucepan with 3 inches of water and set to the barest simmer.
Wash and dry kirby cucumbers. Remove blossom end. Cut into chips, spears or leave whole, depending on your preference.
Combine vinegar, water and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lean forward if you would like to clear out your nasal passage …
Equally divide garlic cloves, dill seed, black peppercorns and red chili flakes between jars. Pack prepared cucumbers into jars as tightly as you can without crushing them.
Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (that’s the amount of space between the surface of the brine and the rim of the jar).
Remove any air bubbles from jars by gently tapping them. You can also use a wooden chopstick or plastic utensil to help remove stubborn bubbles.
Wipe rims and apply lids and bands (don’t screw them on too tightly).
If processing jars for shelf stability, lower jars into your processing pot. When water returns to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from canning pot and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, check seals.
If you choose not to process your jars, let them cool before putting them into the refrigerator. Do note that your jars may seal during the cooling process. However, without the boiling water bath process, that doesn’t mean they’re shelf stable. Still refrigerate.
Let pickles rest for at least one week before eating. I recommend 3 weeks.
At the start of pickling …
After 3 weeks of pickling …
Credit to my brother Scottie for taking the great pics.