Both recipes adapted from The Pickled Pantry, by Andrea Chesman. Copyright 2012 Andrea Chesman. All rights reserved.
Originally published in The Commons issue #163 (Wednesday, August 1, 2012).
Following are two recipes from Andrea Chesman’s book.
Vinegar gives a kick start to the pickling process in these quick and easy recipe, guaranteeing success. If you’ve never tried fermented pickles, this is definitely the recipe to start with.
You can multiply this recipe as many times as you like, but these pickles are best enjoyed at 1 to 2 weeks, so it makes sense to make small batches as the cucumber season progresses. (Makes about 2 quarts.)
• 4 cups water
• 2 tablespoons pickling or fine sea salt
• ½ cup distilled white vinegar
• 1 dill head, or 6 sprigs fresh dill
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled
• 8 cups whole pickling cucumbers
1. Heat the water and salt in a saucepan, stirring until the salt is fully dissolved. Add the white vinegar and let cool to room temperature.
2. Slice 1/16 inch off the blossom end of each cucumber.
3. Pack a clean 2-quart canning jar or crock with the dill, garlic, and cucumbers, in that order. Pour in the brine. Weight the cucumbers so they are completely submerged in the brine.
4. Cover the container to exclude the air. Set the jar where the temperature will remain constant: 65 degrees to 75 degrees F is ideal.
5. Check the jar daily and remove any scum that forms on the surface.
6. The pickles will be ready in 2 to 3 days, although full flavor will not be reached for a week. If your kitchen is reasonably cool, you can leave these pickles out for up to 2 weeks. If the brine starts to become cloudy, refrigerate immediately to prevent spoiling. The flavor of the dill and garlic will continue to develop. The pickles will keep for at least 3 months in the refrigerator.
Kitchen note: If your cucumbers are large, you might want to cut them into spears rather than leave them whole. Spears will pickle faster and more evenly than whole cucumbers.
A farmhouse classic, bread and butters are essential to the pickler’s pantry: sweet, spiced, crunchy. They make an excellent addition to old-fashioned macaroni salad. (Makes 1 pint.)
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