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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grandma's Cucumber Dill Pickles (Gluten Free Pickles!)



I'm re-posting this post from way back in 2013, since it's been one of my most popular recipes, and I thought some of you might enjoy re-visiting it!

 
My grandmother has always made amazing pickles. She would can them in enormous batches. I started helping my mother make them sometime around my 7th birthday, up until about 10 years ago when I moved out and my mother stopped making them and my grandmother got tired of cooking.

Well this year, after seeing buckets of little cucumbers at the farmers market, I decided to resurrect my grandmother's amazing dill pickle legacy. I called my mom back home in Canada and asked for the recipe.

And now I'm sharing it with you!


Despite over 20 years of canning and pickling, this is actually my first time making dill pickles all on my own, but I gotta say, they turned out pretty rockin' awesome. Of course, this is all thanks to Grandma's recipe.

Now I don't know how your grandmother cooks, but mine usually describes her recipes as "a little bit of this, and some of that, and about a pinch of so-and-so..." thankfully my mother pinned my grandma down about 30 yrs ago and got this. I've cleaned it up a bit and added some details to help those of you less experienced canners. So here it is!

Depending on how many jars you want to make, you may want to half the amount of brine, as this recipe makes enough for about 15 quart jars. I only needed half of it, and I only made 6 quart and 2 pint jars. Scroll past the pics for ingredients and directions.

Materials you'll need
Pickles
Canning Salt
Sugar
White vinegar
Garlic
Fresh dill
Canner
Canning jars and lids
Jar Lifter/Gripper (not necessary but super helpful)
Bubble releaser with magnetic end ("")

1. Sterilize jars by washing them, then baking in a 200F oven for 15-20 minutes. 
Sterilize lids by boiling in water for 5-10 minutes.


2. Wash your pickles in a solution of roughly 1 c vinegar and 3 c very cold water, 
then scrub with a veggie brush, rinse and lay out on a clean tea towel to dry


3. Bring brine ingredients to a boil, until all sugar and salt is dissolved.

4. Pack cucumbers into jars with 1-2 cloves sliced garlic and a couple of sprigs of freshly washed dill. Depending on the size of your pickles, you may want to cut them in halves or quarters to pack more in the jar.


5. Ladle hot brine over pickles, up to 3/4" - 1" below rim, use the bubble remover tool (or a chopstick or knife end) to slide around inside to remove any air bubbles trapped between the pickles and liquid

See the steamy bottom left jar for for one with hot brine in it

6. Place seals and screw lids on jars, hand tighten. 
 (This is where the magnetic picker upper comes in handy, to get your hot lids out of the boiling water)

7. Process cans in canner in boiling water for 20 minutes. 
Remove and wait to hear your seals "pop" as they seal (this could take 5min-several hours).
Let sit overnight and tighten lids again.

Now my grandma also says to turn the cans upside down after they pop, and let sit overnight. I'm not sure this is necessary as my mother and I never did it...



Ingredients:

4lb Pickle cucumbers (or more)
21 c water
3 c white vinegar
1 c pickling salt (this is NOT the same as other salts, so you definitely don't want to sub with other salts)
2 c sugar
a pinch of pickling spice (if desired. I didn't have it so I didn't use it)
1-2 garlic cloves PER jar
1-3 sprigs of dill PER jar

Directions:

1. Sterilize jars by washing them, then baking in a 200F oven for 15-20 minutes. Sterilize lids by boiling in water for 5-10 minutes.

2. Wash your pickles in a solution of roughly 1 c vinegar and 3 c very cold water, then scrub with a veggie brush, rinse and lay out on a clean tea towel to dry

3. Bring brine ingredients to a boil, until all sugar and salt is dissolved.

4. Pack cucumbers into jars with 1-2 cloves sliced garlic and a couple of sprigs of freshly washed dill.
Depending on the size of your pickles, you may want to cut them in halves or quarters to pack more in the jar.

5. Ladle hot brine over pickles, up to 3/4" - 1" below rim, use the bubble remover tool (or a chopstick or knife end) to slide around inside to remove any air bubbles trapped between the pickles and liquid

6. Place seals and screw lids on jars, hand tighten. (This is where the magnetic picker upper comes in handy, to get your hot lids out of the boiling water)

7. Process cans in canner in boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove and wait to hear your seals "pop" as they seal (this could take 5min-several hours).   Let sit overnight and tighten lids again.

Note: Make sure the water is boiling in the canner before you put the pickle jars in, otherwise you're more likely to end up with squishy pickles, vs crisp ones. 


Do you make pickles? If so, what recipe do you use?





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This post was shared on the following great link parties: Waste Not Want Not WednesdayMusings of a Housewife, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Natural Living Monday, Fat Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Whatcha Whip-up Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fabulously Frugal Thursdays, Tasty Traditions,Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Gluten Free Fridays, Whole Food Fridays, From the Farm Blog Hop,

26 comments:

  1. Wonderful directions! Thank-you for sharing your grandma's recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mother- in-law adds hot peppers !

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't made pickles in ages. Yours look good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like a good recipe! I made up a batch of refrigerator pickles a couple weeks ago, but I still have a ton of cucumbers coming off my plants, so I will try this recipe out.

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear how they turn out if you try them :)

      Delete
  5. I always cut the blossom ends off the cucumbers, I read somewhere that if you didn't, it caused them to be soft. I also add a wild grape leaf to each jar, which keeps them crisp.

    Your grandmother's recipe looks great.....look forward to trying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi kygal, I've never heard that about cutting off the blossom end. I trim off the stem if there's any little tail still attached, but I've never had a problem with the pickles being soft. I think the key is to do them when they're ripe and firm. Interesting tip about the grape leaf, I've never heard that either!

      Thanks so much for sharing :)

      Delete
  6. I come from Canada too :-) Love the sound of your Grandma's pickle recipe - vintage family recipes are always the best. Your pickles look delicious. I've never actually made pickles from scratch before but your recipe looks like a great place to start!

    ReplyDelete
  7. How long do they need to sit before "pickled"? This looks like the easiest recipe I have found and can't wait to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just pop a jar in the fridge and as soon as it's chilled I eat them ;) The flavour is enhanced if left for a few days, but you can go ahead and start eating them as soon as you want!

      Delete
  8. can you make this recipe if you are not canning them? can you just mix everything and then put in fridge? I don't have the equipment to can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      If you have a pot that's large enough to fit the jars and have an inch of water cover the top of them, that should be good enough to can them. As for just putting them in the fridge, I've never tried doing them that way so I can't say for sure how they'll turn out, although I suspect that for a smaller batch it would be fine. The canning process seals them so they'll keep for over a year in the cupboard. Without that I think they'd probably last a couple of weeks in the fridge. You'd have to let them sit there for a day or two before eating, because the canning also help to blend the flavours and changes the colour and texture of the pickles.

      I hope that helps :)

      Delete
    2. my husband makes a very similar recipe in glass jars, no cooking or sterilizing needed. Put all of the ingredients in a jar (cucumbers, salt, vinegar, garlic, dill, water), covers the jar with a piece of cling wrap before closing the lid very tight, and let the jar sit near a sunny window for 3-4 days. It will ferment and might leak a bit, so put a bowl under it. After 3-4 days, move them to the fridge. They don't last as long as canned, but it's quicker to make and still delicious!

      Delete
    3. That sounds great! I like the idea of fermented cucumbers, too. I'll have to give them a try next year. Thanks so much for sharing your husband's method!

      Delete
  9. Beautiful!
    I like to pickle with these spices added in: garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorn, and anise seeds.
    :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those sound like wonderful additions! I might have to try that next time :)

      Delete
  10. I tried your recipe . . . mine turned out mushy. What's the deal? I wasted a good harvest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear you lost your harvest. Is it possible that the water in the canner was not yet boiling when you put the jars in? l once put the jars in and then brought the water to a boil and they turned out mushy because they were in the hot water far too long. They can sometimes also turn out mushy if the cucs are overripe and have been sitting out too long. I hope that helps.

      Delete
  11. I heard that if you flip the jars upside down once they seal the hot brine helps kill any bacteria that may be lurking near the lid and it also helps the rubber creat a better seal.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You can get your pickles crisp by soaking them in an ice bath, adding alum to the brine or using pickle crisp.
    Turning the jars upside down does not get rid of bacteria or to allow the rubber to seal better. This is taken care of in the hot water bath if processed correctly.
    Although if you do turn your jars upside down it will allow the spices to hit the top of the pickles, so that tastes as good as the bottom of the jar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, Carol! I've also read recently (it *might* even have been on a Bernardin forum or website) that flipping the jars doesn't do anything for bacteria or sealing and is sort of the canning equivalent of an old wives' tale ;) But distributing the spices is always a good thing!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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