Monday, September 27, 2010

Canning: Garlic Dill Pickles

I wanted to can pickles before the end of the summer.  I LOVE pickles and I am very particular about which kinds.  My favorites are the ones you get at delis when you go to buy subs (Just Subs in NJ is my favorite, they have several locations) and, interestingly enough, the Shop Rite brand kosher dills found in the refrigerated section near the Kraft singles and bacon and stuff.  I like to eat pickles when I am in a munching mood, because they are so low in calories but fairly filling.  I eat them with a fork and a knife in front of the TV.  I know, really weird.

Anyway, back to the canning.  I bought 4 pints of baby cucumbers to pickle and decided on the garlic dill pickles from Food in Jars - they sounded like what I like, and they required far less work than the recipes in the Ball Complete book.  I cut the cucumbers into spears and got some grape leaves from my Nonna - they help pickles to stay crisp.

The recipe made 8 pints of pickles, but I guess I simmered my brine too long because I only had enough for almost 7 jars.  I was able to make enough extra to top off the seventh jar, but then I ran out of cider vinegar.  I didn't want to hold up processing the rest of the jars, so I decided I would process the 7 I had done and use regular white vinegar to make the last jar into refrigerator pickles.

This happened about 2 weeks ago, and I just cracked open that refrigerator jar to try one.  Oh man, was it delicious!  Sour and spicy.  It was pretty strong, but I'm interested to see the difference with the cider vinegar.  I think the grape leaves definitely helped, but I also didn't run this batch through the canner, so that may have made a difference.

When I crack open a processed jar I'll post an update of what those taste like.  Until then, I will enjoy my refrigerator pickles as an afternoon snack :)

1 comment:

  1. Update! We cracked open a jar and were quite disappointed to find that the pickles are very much less crispy than the refrigerator ones. However, upon some digging to the bottom of the jar we found that the bottom pickles are quite crispy, although again, not quite as crispy as the refrigerator ones. Next year I would like to try whole little pickles, so that I do not have to cut them and so that they will be crunchier. It's the hot water bath that did them in. The flavor is quite nice though!