Dill Pickle Slices
Makes about 3 quart jars
For the brine:
8 lbs sliced cucumbers
¾ cup pickling salt
1 tsp alum
2 gallons water
Place the prepared cucumbers in a clean 16-quart stockpot. Pour 2 gallons of water over the cucumbers, mix the 3/4 cup salt and the alum together, add to the pot and then mix well to dissolve the salt and alum. Cover the stockpot and soak the cucumbers for 8 hours, then drain, rinse thoroughly and proceed to make the pickles.
What I do is place a saucer over the top of the cucumbers and place a gallon bag of ice on the saucer to keep the cucumbers in the brine. As the ice melts, I empty the water from the bag and refill with ice.
For the pickles:
4 tsp pickling salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
apple cider vinegar
dill sprigs, garlic cloves, grape or cherry leaves (optional), peppercorns
Place pickling salt, vinegar and water in a large pot and heat on high. Stir until salt is dissolved.
Place a sprig of dill, garlic clove, grape or cherry leaf and 8 peppercorns in each hot, sterilized jar (you can easily sterilize the jars by running them through your dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water).
Pack the jars as tightly as you can with cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch of head room.
When vinegar brine begins to boil, ladle hot brine over cucumbers until covered (about 1/4 inch headroom).
Wipe the rim of the jar then place lids and rings on the jars and process 5 minutes in a water bath canner (boil for 5 minutes with the whole jar submerged in the water).
Let sit 24 hours and refrigerate any whose lids have not popped in.
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