December 14, 2009
Way back in the still-warm days of September, I made my first batch of pickles, shoving them to the back of the pantry, not to be opened until the cucumbers had been given sufficient time to, well, pickle.
It’s been a few weeks now since we’ve opened the first jar and something went a little wrong along the way. The pickles look great. They smell wonderful. The little cloves of garlic in there are absolutely delicious – crisp and filled with sharp dill flavour. However, they are waaay too salty.
I used Emeril’s recipe for Spicy Dill Pickles. All of the reviews written by other people who’ve made them are raving…not one person seems to have had the intense saltiness that my pickles have. I’m pretty sure I didn’t add more than the required amount of salt by accident, so I’m not really sure what happened.
Salt factor aside, these pickles use a nice amount of dill. Next time I attempt pickles, I’m going to be adding a whole lot more garlic, some more chili peppers (these are really not very spicy), and definitely less salt. This recipe would be great if the jars were just filled with garlic cloves…those little guys are really nicely flavoured.
It’s not a big loss though. I only made 6 jars, and they are good in small doses. We’ve been eating them, chopping them up for salads or sandwiches, and the saltiness works just fine in that kind of application.
Spicy Dill Pickles
adapted from Emeril @ FoodNetwork
24 pickling cucumbers (kirbys), each between 3 and 4-inches long
6 small bunches fresh dill
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 dried small red chili peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 cups water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Sterilize 6 pint-sized jars and 6 lids in a hot water bath according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Divide the dill, onions, garlic, peppers and peppercorns among the jars. Drain the cucumbers and tightly pack into the jars.
3. Bring a large pot or canner of water to a boil.
4. In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar.
5. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Tap the jars on the counter to dispel any air bubbles, cover with lids and rings, and seal tightly. Place the jars in the pot or canner of boiling water and process for 15 minutes. Remove carefully with tongs and when cool, store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks before opening.
Note: If tap water in your area is hard or high in mineral content, use bottled water to prevent discoloration of pickles.
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