It is Springtime and that means pickling cucumbers are in abundance at the markets. Lots and lots of pickling cucumbers, on sale. Everywhere. Lately, I’ve been contemplating pickling, but I don’t own a canning system. You know, the pot, the rack, the tongs. Hopefully this is something that might be in my future, but for now, it’s about figuring out how to make pickles without all the gear.
An online search revealed a breakdown of a Kosher Dill Pickle recipe over at David Lebovitz’ blog It is his recap on Arthur Scharwtz’s Homemade Kosher Pickles. Looked easy enough, and only involves fermenting, not canning.
I got myself to the market, and since this is an experiment, I didn’t go crazy and buy like 10 pounds of cucumbers. I neither have the room, nor the patience to pickle that many cucumbers. I bought 10 pickling cucumbers, and the required fresh dill, and a few of the missing pickling spices. (I have a well-stocked pantry, it wasn’t that much). Then proceeded with the experiment.
Most pickling recipes call for many pounds of cucumbers. This easy to follow recipe allows you to experiment like I did, and enjoy tasty, yummy pickles with minimal effort. Of course, the hardest part is the waiting. I’ve included a breakdown of the Pickling Spices Recipe, using a smaller amount than in the original.
- 10 pickling cucumbers
- Pickling spices
- Coarse or Kosher salt
- Fresh Dill
- Whole garlic cloves slightly crushed
- 3 tbsp mustard seed
- 3 tbsp whole allspice
- 3 tsp coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more for hotter pickles)
- 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
- Rinse and dry the cucumbers. Bring half a pot of water to a boil, then simmer. Using tongs, dip each jar and lid into the water. This sanitizes the jars.
- Empty the water and refill with 2 quarts of water and 3 tbsp of kosher salt. You want coarse or kosher salt because it is pure salt, not mixed with anti-caking agents or iodine. Bring to a boil.
- While water is coming to a boil, divide the pickling spices up between the jars. Add several cloves of garlic, and pack the cucumbers tightly into the jars. Be careful, if you try to cram the cucumbers, you might break the glass. Add a few sprigs of dill to each jar.
- Carefully pour the hot, salted water into each jar, filling it close to the top. You want to leave a little head room.
- Cover with cheesecloth secured with rubber bands, and store in a cool dry place, ideally below 75 degrees. (I didn’t have cheese cloth, so I used muslin, fingers crossed).
- Wait 3-6 days.Then try one. Lebovitz says a jar of his pickles were ready in 48 hours. The longer they ferment the more sour they will become.
- I’ll let you know next week how these pickles come out. I’m excited, and can’t wait to try them.