Thursday, July 09, 2015

Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Last summer, I only canned pickles when we had more than we could gobble fresh.  We prefer these fresh pickles to the canned ones, though it was still nice to store some to get us through the winter.  Cold and oh-so-crunchy fresh from the refrigerator, they're hard to beat.  They keep for weeks, but they never last that long around here.  They can be sliced in coins, too, if you're hankering for crunchy pickles on your burgers.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles

Prepare your favorite pickle brine (ours is below)

Kosher Dill Pickle Brine

For one quart jar:

2 or 3 garlic cloves, split 
1/8 cup (2 tbsp.) pickling salt 
1 and 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups water
1- 2 heads fresh dill (depending on the size of the head!)
4 black peppercorns 
1/4 tsp. mustard seed

Add sliced cucumbers, dill, peppercorns, and mustard seed to jar.  Bring remaining brine ingredients to a boil and stir to dissolve salt.  Pour over cucumbers into the quart jar, covering them.  Once brine cools, place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours for best flavor.  Reserve extra liquid, if there is any, to add to jar when brine weakens.  Add more cucumbers as needed through the weeks and strengthen or replace brine when necessary.  

*We've not tried this yet, but an alternate method is to salt the cukes first to draw out water for 30 minutes or so before rinsing them and proceeding as normal. This would prolong the strength of the brine.

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