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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fresh Pack Dill Pickles

Continuing with dill pickles, I made a batch of fresh pack dill pickles.  These take a bit more planning as they require and overnight icing in a brine.  Icing is one method of crisping pickles.  This particular method involved also using a brine (salt solution) that helps draw moisture out of the cucumbers to give crisper results as well.  After their overnight icing, the pickles were ready for draining and jarring. 

I prepared 8 lb of cucumbers for the fresh pack dill pickles.  The recipe is designed to can these pickles in 500 ml, 1 L or 1.5 L jars with amount large enough for 15 lb of pickles.  Be warned, finding room in the fridge for a huge stainless steel bowl is not as easy as it sounds.  Years ago when I was knee high to a grasshopper, our neighbour across the street did dills in a huge trough.  I can remember helping put the ice in the trough.   I don't know whether they were fresh packed or fermented but that trough was in her kitchen most of the summer.  Granted she likely did a few different batches of dills.  

Fresh Pack Dill Pickles
modified from: Bernardin Ltd., Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving, Pp. 72

Overnight Icing:

8 lb pickling cucumbers
16 c ice
4 c water
½ c pickling salt

Wash the cucumbers and rinse well.  Cut a thin slice from the blossom end of each cucumber and discard.  Layer the cucumbers and ice in a large stainless steel container.  Dissolve the pickling salt in water then pour over cucumbers.  Add enough cold water to cover the cucumbers.  Weigh the cucumbers down to stay in the water with a plastic bag filled with water.  Refrigerate overnight for a minimum of 12 hours.

Pickling Liquid:

8 c water
6 c white vinegar (5% acetic acid)
¾ c pickling salt
¼ c granulated organic sugar
2 tbsp whole pickling spice

Per 500 ml jar (double for L):

1 tsp whole mustard seed
1 tbsp dill seed
1 peeled garlic
¾ tsp Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride)

Place the pickling spice in a large square of cheesecloth then tie to make a spice bag.  Combine ingredients for pickling liquid in large saucepan including the spice bag.  Bring to a boil and boil gently for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Drain cucumbers, discarding soaking solution.  Pack one jar at a time.  Place the per jar ingredients in hot prepared jars.  Pack in cucumbers leaving ¾ - inch headspace.  Ladle hot pickling ladle over the cucumbers leaving ½ - inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Place lid (metal snap lids, Tattler reusable lids, glass inserts), secure screw band according to manufacturer's instructions.  Repeat of remaining jars, one at a time placing each jar into prepared BWB canner as the jar is prepared.  Process 500 ml jars 10 minutes, L jars 15 minutes in BWB canner at altitudes up to 1,000 ft above sea level.  At higher altitudes adjust timing according to altitude adjustment chart on Canning FYI page.  Remove jars from canner, adjust bands (Tattler, glass inserts).  Do not adjust bands for metal snap lids.  Allow to cool 24 hours.  Check for seal.  Remove bands.  Wash and dry jars and bands.  Bands can be stored separately or replaced loosely on jars if desired.  Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

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