Tonight I made sweet bread and butter pickles and kosher dills. I used Alton Brown’s B&Bs recipe for the sweet pickles and Emeril Lagasse’s dill recipe from the Farm to Fork cookbook.
Here’s the process:
Mine came from my CSA, Pheasant Fields Farm.
B&Bs: took two medium sized cucumbers and sliced them into thin rounds.
Dills: weighed out a pound and a half of pickling cucumbers and sliced them into spears.
Optional step: I cleaned the sink (with a 1:10 bleach-water solution), filled the sink with cold water, added two trays of ice, and rested the cucumbers in the ice bath for 2 hours. This is the first time I’ve tried the technique, recommended to me to keep the pickles crisp.
Prep onions and garlic:
B&Bs: thinly sliced one small onion.
Dills: smashed 9 cloves of garlic – just put the flat of the blade on them and hit with the heel of your hand, the paper comes right off and they’re smashed.
B&Bs: 1 cup water, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/12 cups sugar. Spices: 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp pickling spice.
Dills: 3 cups water, 1 cup distilled vinegar, 2 Tbs. kosher salt. Spices: 2 crumbled bay leaves, 1 tsp. celery seeds, 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds.
Bring to boil, turn down (so the pots don’t boil over) and let simmer for 5 minutes.
B&Bs: layer cucumber rounds with onions.
Dills: pack spears with garlic and sprigs of fresh dill.
B&Bs: pour sweet cider vinegar brine on cucumber rounds and onions.
Dills: pour salty distilled vinegar brine on cucumber spears, garlic and dill.
This recipe made one quart of B&Bs and one quart plus one pint of dills.
Let the jars cool before putting in the refrigerator.
We had some of the dills tonight – they crunched! Still a pretty light flavor, it’s supposed to deepen with time.