Serves: 48 spears
2-4 one quart jars with lids.
12 small pickle cucumbers (approximately 4 inches long)
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
3 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
2.5 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoon dill seed
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seed
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Wash pickles. Slice lengthwise into quarters.
- Wash the jars and lids, let air dry.
- Combine the vinegar, water, and next 7 ingredients in a 2-3 quart sauce pan. Bring to a boil, let boil for 5 minutes.
- While the vinegar mixture comes to a boil, pack the pickles and onions into the jars, evenly divided. (I simply used a 1 gallon jar, put the onions on the bottom and the pickle spears on top.)
- Cut the fresh dill into four inch lengths. Slide the dill segments into the jar, between and around the pickle spears. (Use as much as you want. More dill makes more flavor. I used most of a two foot long bundle.)
- After five minutes of boiling, pour the hot sauce into the jars.
- Cover and refrigerate.
I based this recipe on one found in Cooking Light, adding a few ingredients and increasing the quantities of other ingredients.
I can't give the nutritional data for these pickles, because it would be impossible for me to measure the amount of sugar and salt that is absorbed into the pickles. And since sodium is the only nutritional concern when considering pickles, I will use the values that the magazine found when they had their pickles tested at the lab. (While I made some changes to the ingredients, I kept the same amound of sugar and salt.)
Their lab analysis shows that after 24 hours in the brine each spear had 49mg sodium and after five days, it increased to 66mg. That compares to 220-450mg per spear when you buy pickles in the store.
These pickles are not canned. They must be stored in the refrigerator, but as long as the pickles stay submerged under the brine, they will keep for a long time. (I ate a few after less than 24 hours in the bring and found them to be excellent. My wife and son agree.)