When I planted my cukes, I had pickles in mind. I've never made pickles before and when I got to thinking about actually making pickles, I came to the realization that I am very picky about pickles. I like pickles from "The Pickle Guy" at the farmer's market. I used to love pickles from a pickle barrel at good deli, but stopped buying them because the thought of other people fishing around in the pickle barrel sort of grosses me out. I like pickles that are in the refrigerator section of the grocery store and generally avoid the sad looking pickles on the shelves. It's early in the season so I'm not yet knee deep in cucumbers. I wanted to experiment with small batch refrigerator pickles before the bumper crop starts happening. After doing some research and experimentation I turned to a recipe that was posted by Marisa from Food In Jars. It looked looked like a great starting point for this pickle novice.
|The greener the pickle the better. The ones with the white on the ends are beginning to bloat |
and are not the best for making pickles.
Small Batch Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Recipe slightly adapted from Food In Jars, Urban Preserving Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Yields 2 pints of pickles
- 1 1/2 pounds of Kirby cucumbers - I used 6 cukes
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup spring or filtered water
- 2 teaspoons of pickling salt or sea salt (do not use table salt)
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 4 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed (or leave whole for less punch)
- 1 shallot cut in half and thinly sliced, about 2 tablespoons (or use a small mild onion)
Have 2 pint size jars with lids, clean and ready. Since these are refrigerator pickles and have a limited shelf life - about a month- you do not have to sterilize the jars. Running them through the dishwasher or washing them with hot, soapy water should do.
Heat vinegar, water and salt in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring just to a boil.
While vinegar mixture is heating, scrub your cucumbers. Cut off both ends of the cucumbers and cut each cucumber into quarters (spears). Ideally, they should be the same length.
Add 1 teaspoon of dill seed, 1 teaspoon of mustard seed, and 2 smashed cloves of garlic to each jar. Add the sliced shallot divided between the 2 jars.
Pack the cucumber spears into the jars so they are a snug fit.
When the vinegar mixture reaches a boil, remove from heat and carefully pour mixture into the jars of pickles, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace in each jar.
Screw on lids, and pop them into the refrigerator and allow to cure for at least 24 hours...48 is even better! Remember, these are not processed so the must go in the fridge, they are not shelf stable.
That's it! Why didn't I do this sooner? I may turn into a pickling fool this summer....I have some cauliflower that's calling my name.