Monday, December 12, 2011

Best dill pickle Recipe

This recipe turned out the best and crunchiest homemade dill pickles I have ever eaten, yes better than my grandma's. It worked the best for me with whole pickles and spears.  The sliced pickles have a good taste, but not the crunch of the others.  If you like dill pickles, dill beans, or dill cabbage then give this a try.

Dill Pickles/cabbage/beans
* 8 pounds of cucumbers (3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers, may be sliced, spears or whole) [For dill cabbage use 4 small heads or 1-1 ½ large heads (6-8 pounds)]
* 1/2 cup salt
* 1 and 1/2 quarts vinegar
* 2 quarts water 
* fresh dill and/or dill seed (as needed) 
* 1 Tbsp garlic Powder
* 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
* 2 tbsp peppercorns
* 1 garlic clove per jar
* 1-3 grape leaves per jar (may be omitted but the pickles will be much crunchier with them)
Optional – 1 hot pepper per jar

1. Wash cucumbers. If using whole cucumbers, leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. (For dill cabbage remove the outer leaves and trim the stalk close to the head. Then cut the cabbage in eights leaving a little of the stem/core attached to each wedge)
2. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, onion powder, 2 quarts water, and 1 large head of dill seed. Heat to boiling.
3. Fill jars with cucumbers or cabbage.
4. Add 1 garlic clove, 1-3 grape or muscadine leaves, and 1-2 head/sprig fresh dill (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed or dill weed) per pint jar.
7. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Remove air bubbles by thrusting a plastic or wooden utensil up and down along inside wall of jars. Wipe jar rims. Apply lids hand tight.
8. Process in a boiling water bath (10 minutes for pints; 15 minutes for quarts). For cabbage process quarts in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
(makes 7-9 quarts)

Be sure to sterilize all jars prior to using, 10 minutes in boiling water will do the trick.  

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