I love my weekly trips to the farm. I never know what will be harvested each week, and so my CSA share is always a surprise. Last week I was delighted to find pickling cucumbers and brought home three pounds!
So what’s a girl to do with a bounty of pickling cucumbers? Make pickles, of course.
But it’s only July, and The Allergy-Free Pantry – with the best Dill Pickle recipe, ever, doesn’t come out until September when we will have moved onto to squash and potatoes. One of the best ways to save money is to take advantage of produce in season. The time to make those pickles is now! And so I am sharing a sneak peek into The Allergy-Free Pantry. Enjoy!
Pickles can be aged in the refrigerator (these are known as refrigerator pickles) or processed in a water bath and preserved for up to a year. Either way, you will need to sterilize glass jars and use two-part sealing lids. Pickling requires hot packing with brine; use vinegar with at least 5 percent acidity (check the label). Use pickling cucumbers to make sure the pickles will snap when you bite into them.
Makes 3 pints (1440 ml)
Use three 1-pint (16-ounce/480 ml) jars
1½ cups (360 ml) apple cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
1½ cups (360 ml) water
2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
6 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
7 to 8 medium pickling cucumbers, ends removed, cut into spears
1. Start boiling the jars and preparing the lids (see note below). The jars need to boil for a full 10 minutes. You will need to boil the jars even if you aren’t canning.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, garlic, peppercorns, and dill in a medium non-reactive saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
4. Remove the sterilized jars from the canning pot, drain the water from them, and fill them with the cucumbers. Do not overpack the jars; leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space from the top of the pickles to the top of the jar.
5. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, leaving ½ inch (13 mm) of headspace. Make sure the cucumbers are completely covered with brine. Place the lids on the jars and secure them with rings.
6. If you are making refrigerator pickles, let the filled jars cool and then refrigerate them. Let the pickles age for 1 week before eating (they need time to pickle) and use them within 3 months.
7. Otherwise, you can extend the shelf life of the pickles by processing them in a water bath for 10 minutes (see note below); use them within a year.
* The Allergy-Free Pantry includes details on how to prepare the jars and process a water bath or refer to a complete text on Canning (e.g. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving).
Recipe from The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, copyright © Colette Martin, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available September 9, 2014 wherever books are sold.