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Recipe

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Dill pickle

By: Sarah
Region: American
Dish:Vegetarian - Pickles

Ingredients

enough cucumbers to fit into 2 or 3 1L jars (usually about a kilo or so, but depends on size and how you plan to cut them etc)
a bunch of dill
9-15 cloves of garlic
1.5L water
250-300mL apple cider vinegar***
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt (never use table salt for pickling!)

Directions

1) Sterilise your jars and lids.
2) Cut 1-2cm off the flower end of each cucumber (this will prevent soggy pickles). The flower end is usually lighter in colour; if you’re unsure which end is the flower end, cut off both. If your stem end looks a bit dodgy, cut it off too.
3) Cut the cucumbers whichever way you want them (leave them whole, or cut them into spears or rounds). You can do a mix in each jar, too. If you’re cutting into spears or using whole cukes, make sure they are a couple of centimetres shorter than the height of the jar.
4) Put water, vinegar and salt in a saucepan or thermomix bowl. Boil (covered) for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using a TM, cook on 100 degrees, speed 3-4, for 25 minutes.
5) While the brine is boiling, prepare the jars. Put 3-5 cloves of garlic on the bottom of each jar, depending on how much you like garlic. Perhaps start with three per jar the first time you pickle.
6) Put a sprig or two (a small handful) of dill in with the garlic.
7) Tightly pack the cucumbers into the jars (it’s easier if you hold the jar on an angle, so your cucumbers lay against the side of the jar). If your whole cucumbers or cucumber spears range in size, start with the biggest ones and pack the smaller ones around those. Once the jar starts getting full, give it a jiggle to creat a bit more room, and pack in more until you can’t squeeze anymore in. If you have leftover cukes and a teeny bit more room, you can always pack sliced rounds of cucumber into the gaps.
8) If you finish packing your jars before your brine is ready, put the lids on the jars (you don’t want dust etc ending up in there).
9) Once the brine has boiled for a while, pour it over the cucumbers. You need to cover the cucumbers completely with brine, but leave about 1 or 2cm of airspace at the top of the jar. Seal the jars, and leave them out on the bench to cool. Once cooled, store the jars in a cool, dark cupboard and leave to let the flavours develop for a week. The jars should keep in the cupboard for about 6 months, but once a jar is open it needs to be put in the fridge and consumed within 8 weeks. If any of your jars don’t have an airtight seal once they have cooled, put them in the fridge right away and eat those before the others (they’re still okay to eat, you just don’t want them hanging around in the cupboard if the jar didn’t seal properly).

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