Jan's Damn Good Garlic Dills
Source of Recipe
List of Ingredients
- 4 quarts pickling cucumbers, rinsed well
- 4 heads of fresh pickling dill, halved
- About 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1 quart cider vinegar
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup pickling spices
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup chopped fresh pickling dill
- 16 whole peeled garlic cloves, sliced
- If the cucumbers are too large, you may want to cut them into chunks, slices, or sticks. Otherwise, leave them whole. Pack the cucumbers into clean jars or food-grade plastic containers, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Divide the sliced pieces of garlic and halved heads of fresh pickling dill among the containers. Add a pinch (about 1/4 of a teaspoon per quart) of the dried red pepper flakes to each container (another pinch or two should be used for those folks who enjoy more of a "bite" in their pickles).
- Prepare the brine by combining the vinegar, water, pickling spices, salt, sugar, turmeric and 1 cup of chopped fresh dill in a non-aluminum pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain off the seasonings from the brine, then ladle the hot brine into the containers, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Attach lids. Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
- The pickles are "becoming good" after 7 to 10 days of aging, but they won't be "damn good" for at least a month. Even then, they will continue to improve and improve, and improve, for months and months. I've kept batches for up to 24 months and they've been fabulous down to the last pickle.
Makes about 4 quarts.
If you really don't have enough refrigerator space and need to store batches at room temperature, then you'll have to process the jars in a canner. Here's how: Wash pint- or quart-size canning jars (such as Ball or Kerr). Keep hot until used. Pack the pickles into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Divide the garlic slices among the jars. Pour the strained hot brine into one jar at a time, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Place the metal disc of the two-piece lids on top of the jar opening, then screw on the metal screw band. Fill and close remaining jars.
Process the jars, using the low-temperature pasteurization treatment (this method keeps the pickles from being subjected to boiling water, which will help them stay a little firmer): Place jars in canner filled halfway with warm (120º to 140º F) water. Then add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180º to 185º F water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180º during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185º may cause unnecessary softening of the pickles.