Homemade Dill Pickles Recipe

Jar of Homemade Dill Pickles

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.

Fresh Pickling Cucumbers and Mason Jars

(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.

Slicking Fresh Pickling Cucumber Spears

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.

Smashed Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper & Cider Vinegar for DIY Dill Pickle Recipe

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.

Sliced Pickle Spears Packed in Mason Jars

Homemade Dill Pickles Recipe

30 minutes

30 minutes

Yield: 3 jars

Serving Size: 1 pickle

90 calories

Homemade Dill Pickles Recipe

Recipe Ingredients

  • 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

Recipe Directions

  1. Wash mason jars, lids and lid rings with soap and water. Dry completely.
  2. 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.
  3. Slice the cucumbers into spears. I got roughly 6-8 spears per pickling cucumber.
  4. Peel and smash the garlic cloves.
  5. Divide garlic, dill seed and red pepper flakes between the mason jars. Add fresh dill sprigs if you want.
  6. Pack the pickle spears into each of the jars tightly, but without smooshing them.
  7. Make the brine by bringing the cider vinegar, water and kosher salt to a rolling boil.
  8. Fill each mason jar up to about a half inch below the top of the jar.
  9. Tap the mason jars a few times in the counter before sealing to get rid of air bubbles.
  10. Put the lids on the jars and screw as tightly as possible.
  11. Cool the dill pickle jars to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator once completely cooled.
  12. Wait three to four days before opening the jars so they can fully pickle in the brine.
  13. 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!

Cake 7: Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

One thing I did this time around was bake the cake on Tuesday, ice/decorate/top on Wednesday. I did this at the suggestion of my wonderful mother-in-law, Dawn, who you met when we made the angel food cake with fruit and yogurt. This will hopefully help me offset the patience and planning issues that have thwarted my cakes in the past.

Also, for this cake I used marshmallow fluff instead of marshmallows, as I am a vegetarian and whole marshmallows contain gelatin (derived from collagen found in animal skin and bones). However, marshmallow fluff is free of gelatin and vegetarian-friendly! The catch is that it is difficult to spread onto the cake for the last few minutes of baking without tearing up your cake, unlike the regular marshmallows which you can just pour on top. In the case of marshmallow fluff, just be careful, use a wide spatula, and slooooowly spread it on there.

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.25 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 0.5 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Approx. 4 ounces of marshmallow fluff

Chocolate Marshmallow Glaze Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Approx. 3-4 ounces of marshmallow fluff
  • 0.25 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Cake Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. First, melt the butter and the unsweetened chocolate in the microwave and stir them together until smooth and creamy. Let the chocolate mixture cool for about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. In another large bowl beat the eggs, sugar, applesauce and vanilla. (I used my new KitchenAid from my husband for this – yay!) Stir in the chocolate mixture. Gradually add the dry ingredients mixture and mix well with each addition. Pour into a greased 9″x13″ pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until your toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (you know the drill). Slowly and carefully, so as not to tear up your cake, spread about 4 ounces of your marshmallow fluff onto the cake and bake for just a couple more minutes.

Chocolate Marshmallow Glaze Directions

While the cake is cooling, this is the perfect time to create the chocolate marshmallow glaze. Combine sugar, milk and butter in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for about one minute. Remove the liquid from the heat, and stir in the chocolate chips and the rest of the marshmallow fluff. Drizzle your chocolate marshmallow glaze over the cake, and it should harden as it cools.

I served this one right out of the pan, as I don’t have a serving dish big enough to safely turn out a huge 9″x13″ cake without completely obliterating it. Sorry it’s not fancy folks, as it just looks like a regular sheet cake, but I think it’s the taste that counts, no?

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