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Our Recipe for Kosher-Style Dill Pickles

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gonefishin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2013 at 15:11
   They started out as puckery...and then kept going from there
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2013 at 17:34
I don't think you really want to ferment pickles that you have put in a brine already made sour by adding vinegar, but I've never made pickles with vinegar. And putting pickles with an active culture of lactic acid producing bacteria into the refrigerator will only slow them down. I'm sure that's why your pickle kept getting more sour. They will eventually stop getting more sour, but I never liked them at that point. Too sour for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2013 at 12:38
For anyone following this thread, the actual recipe that we use/d is now in the opening post. We made 17 quarts of these the other day - I will check them this weekend to see how they turned out. We used the smaller "gherkin" type cucumbers, which I have never used before, but the flavours were all there and jthey are ust right. Some of the cucumbers were also either of a "large gherkin-type" or small regular cucumbers - about 4 inches in length or so. No pickle crisp agent was available in my small town, so we made these without; however, I still intend to try it next year, or if we make any more this year.
 
Of interest is that we had one quart of brine left over after this. I reserved this brine (with the spices, dill etc.) in a jar and added a bunch shelled, boiled eggs last night to it. Will report on results. Any guesses on how many days they should "pickle?"
 
Dan - the brine that we made was in exact adherence to the written recipe. The "vinegary-ness" seemed just right to me; assuming that once the cucumbers soak up the salt, things will equalise. One potentiall-important thing that I noticed was that the longer the brine simmered (or - worse yet boiled), the more concentrated it got. If your brine sat simmering or boiling for any length of time while preparing the cucumbers or packing the jars, then this could account for the extreme sourness, as much the water would have boiled out, concentrating the brine. I recommend bringing the brine to a boil as required by the recipe, then keeping it to a bare simmer, covered, while preparing the cucumbers or packing the jars.
 
The only other issue that came up is processing time. In reading various recipe, we encountered times ranging from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Keeping crispness in mind, as well as "getting things up to temperature" for food safety purposes, we put the pickles in at a rolling boil returned to a rolling boil, and then started timing for 10 minutes, which seemed a happy medium. If 5 minutes were deemed a safe and effective time, then I would suggest 5 minutes.
 
I will leave the question of covering the brine and processing time open to discussion, so that those two issues can be hammered out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 September 2013 at 00:24
Ron, the pickling of eggs will start within 24 hours. The longer they sit, however, the deeper the brine penetrates.

If you ever make Amish-style red beet eggs you can watch this progression day-by-day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 September 2013 at 09:28
Hey Brook -
 
The eggs turned out properly, I think - good flavour but the whites take on a strange texture that I had forgotten about from the last time I tried a similar project. It's not bad, it's just different - something I am not used to.
 
Results on the pickles themselvews are mixed. These cucumbers were bought at a farmers' market and we assume that they were picked the day before, but unfortunately sat an additional 54 hours or so beyond that before they were pickled. For this reason, they were a little soft, but the flavours were excellent and nearly just as I remember. I personally would add double the garlic and also perhaps double the red pepper, but otherwise very, very good! The main thing is not to let the brine simmer or boil any longer than necessary - or to keep it covered so that it cannot concentrate due to evaporation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2014 at 21:13
Almost a year later, we still have a couple jars of these pickles left, but it's nearly time to make some more! I snapped a photo of this jar that I retrieved from the basement so that I could make some potato salad:


The pickles still taste great, and I'm looking forward to making more this year, using the same recipe. One thing I noticed was that over the course of a year, they didn't really soften any more than they had when they were first made; in fact, while they would never be as "crisp and crunchy" as Vlasic or Nally pickles, they did indeed have a good amount of crunch to them, making me think that if I can figure out a way to start them off crisp, they should stay that way for a while.

I intend to try the "pickle crisp" product this year, and if someone more knowledgable than me gives the green light, I'll also reduce the processing time to 5 minutes, rather than 10.

We'll see how it goes ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 August 2014 at 06:30


Thank you Gentlemen for a very interesting and informative post.

I would like to créate a couple of jars of pickles as they pair marvelously with French Terrine and Patés.

I have to read over and check out the information, Hoser has provided, I will go with Ron´s récipe and the spice profile which is Rod provided if I am not mistaken, too ...

Just have to clarify the Crunch product.

Ron, we can discuss in September. I will definitely take photos.


Thanks and have a wonderful summer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 August 2014 at 09:49
Ron,

I fully intend to make a batch of your pickles this coming weekend. One question though... about how many pickles would you figure (in weight) for the recipe listed?

I did my first (ever) batch of pickles this weekend and used a little over 3 lbs of pickling cucumbers, sliced at 1/4" yielded five and a half pints. So I figure that's probably pretty close for your recipe.

Anyway, I tried a recipe I found online, for sweet and spicy pickles, which I love. I hope they're not too sweet though, I hate sweet pickles. More of a bread-n-butter pickle fan. (if anyone knows of a recipe that replicates wickles pickles, let me know! http://www.wicklespickles.com/)
My wife, however, won't eat anything but dill, so I thought a batch of yours for her would be in order.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 August 2014 at 07:51
Hi, Mike - sorry not to get back to you sooner. To answer your question, I'm not sure how many - I just kind of filled the jars until they were full and made pickles until I ran out of cucumbers! Shocked

But, now that I think about it, it is a good question - I'll try to remember to keep track nect time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2015 at 20:59
We had a bunch of home-grown cucumbers - mostly from my dad's garden and some from my own, so I am in the process of making 5 quarts of these pickles tonight. At my dad's suggestion, I am going on the lighter side of the spices (1 teaspoon of mustard seed, equivalent of 1 large clove of garlic, 1 chile pepper etc.) in order to finish with a pickle that is closer to what my grandmother made; having said that, the base recipe is still the same. I continued the same 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, with 2 tablespoons of salt per quart. The way things are shaping up, I am certain we will be making more beyond this first batch, as we have a lot of cucumbers this year.

One thing I am seeing right away is that - in spite of the lengthy discussions on what makes a crisp pickle - I am convinced that the time sitting in the canner waiting to come to a boil must be a factor. I had a rolling boil before I put the jars of pickles in to process, but it is just over a half-hour later and I am still not yet back up to boiling in order to begin the 10-minute processing countdown. This certainly had to have an impact on the texture of the finished pickles.

Another thing - I am convinced that these new, tin-coloured canning kids from Ball/Kerr are completely worthless. During this interminable wait to come to boil, two have buckled already, requiring me to replace them - and that's no joke with these hot jars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2015 at 22:48
I found some today, so I grabbed it:

http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-pickle-crisp-granules-5-5-oz/shop/382751/

It says that it's made from calcium chloride, which as far as I remember is fairly natural; Ball seems to think highly of it, at least.

Anyway, I will try this in the next batch of pickles that I make, which should be tomorrow. Since I just made a batch of pickles last week with the identical recipe, it should be fairly easy to compare results.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 September 2015 at 23:01
Originally posted by gonefishin gonefishin wrote:

    another update...

   These pickles went from being a little too vinegary to extremely vinegary.  Like I said, I put them into the refrigerator, after three day on the counter.  I had read putting them in the refrigerator was suppose to stop them from getting more vinegary, that wasn't the case....WOW!

   I'm not sure what exactly went wrong???

Say, Dan ~ I've been thinking about this post of yours as I have been making pickles. Mine always turn out just right using this recipe, but ot might possibly just be what I am used to.

Anyway, my question is - did you pack these jars tight with cucumbers (whole, sliced or cut into spears)? One thing I was taught when making this recipe was to pack the jars TIGHT with as much cucumber as possible, fitting them in carefully in order to get them as full as possible before adding the brine - even to the point of stacking small or cut-down spears on top of the pile, right up to the headspace limit. Taking this into account, I am thinking that the more cucumbers that are in the jar to soak up the vinegar and salt, the more widely those ingredients are stretched. Since mine are always stuffed absolutely full of cucumber, they don't seem too "puckery" or salty to me, but if yours weren't stuffed as tightly, they might seem more saturated with vinegar and salt.

This is just a guess, but it could explain it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2016 at 12:18
Dan - I believe I was able to confirm my hypothesis this weekend.

I had two quart-sized jars of pickles from my first batch of 2015, side-by-side. The only difference between the two jars is that one jar was from the end of the batch of cucumbers, and as such was not packed as full and tightly as the rest of the batch - this is just a guess, but I would say that there were about 25% fewer cucumber spears in that jar. Everything else was the same, and since they were made quite some time ago, the had had plenty of time to absorb the brine and spices.

The jar with fewer spears was much saltier and "puckey-er." They were also, for whatever reason, much, much softer. The jar that was packed tightly with spears seemed to be in much better balance (considering this recipe uses no sugar) and were not overly-salty or vinegary. It seemed that the spices came through much better, as well, and were much, much firmer, as well.

In other words, they were just right, and just the way I remember ~

For me, this confirms that with this recipe, the jars should be packed as tightly as possible - which is, ironically, what my dad told me to be sure to do when I started making pickles last autumn. Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 September 2016 at 17:08
I didn't get any cucumbers grown this year, but I did buy about 13.5 pounds from some Hutterites at the farmer's market in Great Falls this weekend. They are the smaller "gherkin" type, mostly about 3.5 to 4 inches in length, with many curled.

Using my recipe, and packing the jars tightly, I was able to fill 11 quart-sized jars - but the bottom of one jar broke in the canner for no reason I could see, and I ended up with 10 quarts. Luckily, we were able to salvage the pickles themselves; I "marinated" them in some vinegar, water and pepper and we served them with supper, so they fortunately did not go to waste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 September 2016 at 19:10
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Dan - I believe I was able to confirm my hypothesis this weekend.

I had two quart-sized jars of pickles from my first batch of 2015, side-by-side. The only difference between the two jars is that one jar was from the end of the batch of cucumbers, and as such was not packed as full and tightly as the rest of the batch - this is just a guess, but I would say that there were about 25% fewer cucumber spears in that jar. Everything else was the same, and since they were made quite some time ago, the had had plenty of time to absorb the brine and spices.

The jar with fewer spears was much saltier and "puckey-er." They were also, for whatever reason, much, much softer. The jar that was packed tightly with spears seemed to be in much better balance (considering this recipe uses no sugar) and were not overly-salty or vinegary. It seemed that the spices came through much better, as well, and were much, much firmer, as well.

In other words, they were just right, and just the way I remember ~

For me, this confirms that with this recipe, the jars should be packed as tightly as possible - which is, ironically, what my dad told me to be sure to do when I started making pickles last autumn. Embarrassed


    I missed this post.  Thanks for the update, Taz!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 September 2016 at 19:40
What good timing. While looking for another recipe this afternoon I stumbled across my mom's dill pickle recipe. Since everybody's mother's cooking is the best, I thought I would post it here. Relatively plain but very tasty. Many home-canned pickles are either too salty or too vinegary. These are well balanced. A good recipe for a first-time canner. When I got on the 'puter tonight, lo and behold, what stares me in the face but the subject of kosher pickles. So I offer:

Evelyn Kurth's Dill Pickles

Select 3"-"5 cukes. Pack into sterilized quart jars. Add a 'good-sized' stick of dill and 1/2 t. black pepper to each jar. Prepare following solution:

1/2 cup non-iodized salt
1 C. vinegar
2 Qt. water

Bring to boil. Pour hot solution over pickles to 1/2 inch from top. Seal and process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

For 'kosher' pickles add 1 dried cayenne pepper and 1 large clove garlic, cleaned and bruised.

Allow to cure at least 1 week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 September 2016 at 21:09
In Rodale's "Stocking Up III" (pp. 206-207), they speak of using rice bran to keep pickles crisp. Recipe name: Dill Crock.
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Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 September 2016 at 08:56
Looks good, Tom - thanks for sharing!

This is what I really enjoy, seeing everyone's family foods...the ones that I call "grandma recipes." If anyone has any, please feel free to post them!

Originally posted by Tom Tom wrote:

In Rodale's "Stocking Up III" (pp. 206-207), they speak of using rice bran to keep pickles crisp. Recipe name: Dill Crock.


I hadn't heard of this - quite interesting. I'm wondering if it is an "old" method, or something that came up as the result of a quest for a more natural way to keep these types of pickles (non-lactose-fermented) more crisp?
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