Anneke Larrance sends along this timely pickle recipe.
Cucumbers like hot humid weather, something we’ve had a lot of lately. I returned home after a 2 week absence to find that my cucumbers were especially prolific this year, so I got out a recipe that I’ve modified over the years and my husband and I made 17 quarts of dill pickles.
My husband likes diversity in his dill pickles, so I had planted two cucumber varieties that pickle well: Marketmore 76 and Calypso Pickler. I also grow the garlic, dill and hot peppers that are needed for this particular recipe, but they should soon be available at the Farmer’s Markets across the area.
My mother taught me that you should let home canned goods cure until Thanksgiving, so I never open any of mine until about then. I suspect that her rule was an attempt to make sure that the canned goods lasted through the winter, but do let your pickles sit for at least several weeks so that the wonderful flavor has a chance to permeate the whole cucumber.
I Recipe Makes 6 ½ Quarts of pickles
3 ½ Quarts Water
¾ cup salt without iodine
2 heaping tablespoons pickling spices
Mix above ingredients together. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, fill sterile jars with cucumbers.
After the cucumbers are packed in the jars, add
Hot pepper seed or 1 fresh chili pepper
1/8 teaspoon Alum
1 clove garlic
2 heads of fresh dill
When brine comes to a boil, pour into filled jars.
Wipe the rim of jar with clean cloth and seal.
Note: The National Center for Home Food Preparation recommends Low Temperature Pasteurization Treatment for raw pack pickles:
The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way 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 180ºF during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185ºF may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.