Most of these recipes call for whole pickling spice but I grew up with dill pickles made with garlic and fresh dill and peppers in them! So I will give you both recipes!
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Sterilize 4 1-quart canning jars. Place in each jar, 1 (or more) cloves garlic (peeled), a ring of hot pepper (or a whole small hot pepper, depending upon heat), and a sprig of dill with seeds attached.
Scrub and dry the cucumbers well. Discard any cucumbers with blemishes, or any that haven't been picked within the past 24 hours (older cucumbers will shrivel when pickled).
Pack whole cucumbers into the jars. Combine water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil and fill the jars with brine. Adjust 2 piece caps.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Half of the pickles will lose their bright green color when they are ready to be removed from canner. Do not over-process or the pickles will be soft.
Quick Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles
- 8 lbs. of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
- 2 gals. water
- 1 1/4 cups canning or pickling salt
- 1 1/2 qts. vinegar (5 percent acidity)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 qts. water
- 2 Tbsp. whole mixed pickling spice
- about 3 Tbsp. whole mustard seed (1 tsp. per pint jar)
- about 14 heads of fresh dill (1-1/2 tsp. per pint jar) or 4-1/2 Tbsp. dill seed (1-1/2 tsp. per pint jar)
Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4 inch of stem attached. Dissolve 3/4 cup salt in 2 gallons of water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, sugar, and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean, white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp. mustard seed and 1-1/2 heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process as below or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment described previously.
Recommended Process (Quick Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles)
Boiling Water Bath: Pints 15 minutes, Quarts 20 minutes