Every year we get more cucumbers than we know what to do with in our little suburban garden. This year we’re doing our best to keep up with the garden and harvest stuff when it tastes best.
(We’re already way behind on the greens which have bolted and gone bitter, yet we’re still trudging our way through it with the spiciest homemade salad dressings we can come up with to mask the bitterness.)
I pulled our first four to five pickling cucumbers off the vine over Independence Day weekend, and decided to try to actually make homemade dill pickles with them for once. We’ve mostly only eaten them crisp and fresh before – never occurred to us how easy dill pickles really are.
We actually made these homemade dill pickles two days ago, and we let them pickle in their brine for at least two days before opening and trying. The brine has smashed garlic, crushed red pepper, cider vinegar and salt making it all delicious.
We don’t have plans to keep the pickles long (I’ll be lucky if they last a week with how much my husband to eat pickles out of the jar as a snack), so we didn’t do jar boiling steps to keep them shelf stable for much longer than a few weeks.
We opened the jar and tried them after two days – I am not a huge pickle fan or pickle connoisseur, but I think they’re delicious. They’re definitely still crisp after two days, but Luke (who is a connoisseur) prefers a softer, more pickled pickle so he’ll probably dig in more after another day or two.
- 4-6 six-inch pickling cucumbers
- 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 3 teaspoons dill seed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- A few sprigs of fresh dill per jar (optional)
- 2-3 wide mouth mason jars
- Wash mason jars, lids and lid rings with soap and water. Dry completely.
- Wash and dry the cucumbers, brushing off any prickly bits and trimming blossoms and ends. The pickle spears should be about a half inch below the top of the jar.
- Slice the cucumbers into spears. I got roughly 6-8 spears per pickling cucumber.
- Peel and smash the garlic cloves.
- Divide garlic, dill seed and red pepper flakes between the mason jars. Add fresh dill sprigs if you want.
- Pack the pickle spears into each of the jars tightly, but without smooshing them.
- Make the brine by bringing the cider vinegar, water and kosher salt to a rolling boil.
- Fill each mason jar up to about a half inch below the top of the jar.
- Tap the mason jars a few times in the counter before sealing to get rid of air bubbles.
- Put the lids on the jars and screw as tightly as possible.
- Cool the dill pickle jars to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator once completely cooled.
- Wait three to four days before opening the jars so they can fully pickle in the brine.
- They can keep in the refrigerator three to four weeks.
Update 7/30: Trying some new variations today! Did some spear pickles with a fresh jalapeño I picked from my garden, and some sliced sandwich pickles with mustard seed. Skipped the crushed red pepper. Hope it works out!