Sour Dill Pickles

This recipe takes only 2-3 months.  

First, go to the nursery, and buy four to six cucumber plants.  Plant, nurture, and wait until you have cucumbers.
In all seriousness, I like to grow cucumbers every spring and make my own pickles.  I can occasionally find kirby cucumbers in the grocery store (and it’s even harder to find the right plants – you need the smaller cucumbers for pickling).  It’s a two day recipe, though, so be prepared.
Once you have cucumbers and ingredients in hand, this is a pretty quick recipe other than the wait time in between steps.  Sometimes, it’s harder for me to find the fresh dill than to actually do the recipe.  I’ve done this once with dried dill weed, and it just wasn’t the same.
I have to attribute Jim Fobel for this recipe – his cookbook is called Jim Fobel’s Big Flavors.   I’ve found that this makes very crunchy crispy sour dills.  Many pickle recipes have you cooking and doing the traditional canning process, but I think that gives you the softer pickles that I don’t like as much.  Be cautioned, however, that these must be refrigerated immediately and last just six months to a year.  I seem to have a problem where they last only a few weeks, as they get eaten pretty quickly.
  • 2 pounds kirby cucumbers (8 to 12)
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt / kosher salt – basically any salt without iodine added
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp dill seeds
First you want to brine the pickles – make sure they’ve been well rinsed – add the salt to five cups of tap water and stir to dissolve the salt.  You need to find a bowl where the pickles can be submerged completely in this mixture.  I use a couple of big souflee dishes and put a plate on top to keep the cucumbers down.
Brine for two days.
Once this exercise is complete, heat up some of the ingredients in a sauce pan – 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon salt, the bay leaves, coriander, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, and then let it cool to room temperature.   This may be an hour or two later, so wait until you’re ready to complete the recipe to remove the cucumbers from the brine and rinse them well.
Slice the garlic, and set aside with the fresh dill.  Mix all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl with 2 cups cold water.   I use 1 quart mason jars, and I pack the soon-to-be pickles, garlic, and dill weed in the jars, then pour the liquid into them to fill them up.   This recipe will make about two jars – I frequently halve it and make one jar at a time, based on my cucumber yield. Refrigerate.
Lastly, if you grow your own, what you can do with the last two or three cucumbers to come off the vine is to brine them for two days, and then just rinse and drop into one of your jars from which you’ve already consumed a pickle or two.

One Response to “Sour Dill Pickles”

  1. Carly says:

    Well written article.

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