This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.
Last month, I teamed up with my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands to share their recipe for Honey Cinnamon Pears and the Honey Cinnamon Pear Sorbet I made with it. (Back in May, I did their Mixed Berry Jam and made Jammy Baked Oatmeal.) This month, we’re talking pickles.
Kosher Dill Pickle Spears, to be precise. These pickles are the exact image my brain conjures when I think of a classic kosher dill and they live up to their name in both form and flavor.
This style of pickle is one of the most versatile in the homemade pantry. They are great with sandwiches, tucked Chicago-style into hot dogs, or diced and stirred into dressings and relishes.
It’s an incredibly easy pickle to make. You start (as with most canning projects) by placing your jars in a canning pot, filling it about two-thirds full of water, and bringing it to a low simmer. While the canner heats, grab a few pounds of pickling cucumbers, trim the ends (make sure to remove the blossom end!), and cut them into spears.
Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the canning pot has come to a simmer and the jars are hot, remove one jar. Working quickly, place dill, garlic, Pickle Crisp®, and spices into the bottom of the jar. Pack the cucumber spears into the jar, fill it with the hot brine to 1/2 inch headspace, and wiggle out the air bubbles (top with more brine if the level has dropped below 1/2 inch).
Wipe the rim, apply the lid and ring, and return the jar to the canner. Repeat the process with the remaining jars. Once all the jars are filled, process them in the boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid and let the jars stand in the hot water for an additional five minutes
Once the jars have finished cooling in the water, remove them from the canning pot and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. These pickles like to have at least a week in the jar to allow the flavor to infuse before you open them up. Check in tomorrow for a recipe that will show you how to use them in a most delicious way.
Kosher Dill Pickle Spears
- 2 ½ lbs 3-4 inch pickling cucumbers
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Ball® Salt for Pickling and Preserving
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 small bay leaves
- 12 dill sprigs
- 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 4 small hot peppers optional
- Ball ®Pickle Crisp optional
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
- Wash cucumbers and hot peppers in cold water. Slice 1/16 of an inch off the blossom end of each cucumber; trim stem ends so cucumbers measure about 3 inches. Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise.
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small stainless saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer.
- Place 1 garlic clove, 3 dill sprigs, ½ tsp mustard seed, 1 bay leaf and 1 red pepper and Ball® Pickle Crisp (if desired) into a hot jar. Pack cucumber spears into jar, leaving a ½ inch headspace. Trim any cucumbers that are too tall.
- Ladle hot brine into a hot jar leaving a ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
Looks great, I’m going to try these today! What would be the substitution for fresh dill? Dill seeds? How much?
One teaspoon dill seed will give you about the same flavor.
Just reheated some of the brine from my first batch of these (last week) to make refrigerator pickles with a couple that were hiding under the bush. Having a failed seal on a jar meant I didn’t have to wait to start in!
Instead of Pickle Crisp, I did the optional overnight brining. It isn’t as effective, but worthwhile if you can’t find the product.
Thanks for sharing this recipe…..love dill pickles
Am I missing the amount of pickle crisp to add to the jars?
The instructions for using Pickle Crisp are on the jar. For this recipe, you’d add a rounded 1/8 teaspoon to each pint jar.
Marisa – I made these this weekend and I’m looking forward to trying them. I did make a mistake and I thought I’d ask if I had any options: following your instructions to put together one jar at the time, I got the first jar assembled and in the pot and started the second before I realized I’d left out the mustard seeds in the first one. I decided I’d just go ahead and see how they turned out but I did wonder if I could have pulled the jar back out, added the mustard seed and put it back in? Would I have needed to replace the lid at that point?
It’s better to just leave the mustard seeds out than take the jars apart and risk the texture of the pickles.
What is in Pickle Crisp?
Used this recipe for the last cucumbers from the 20 pound box that I bought from a local farm cooperative. Used Pickle Crisp. Added 1/2 teaspoon of red chile pepper flakes to half of the cars for a little heat. Can’t wait to try them.
Can this recipe be done with slicing cucumbers?
The finished product won’t be as crisp if you use slicers.
Just clarifying. It is 2 1/2 cups water to the 2 cups of vinegar. I had a lot of extra brine compared to your recipe in food in jars. What do I do with the extra brine? Thank you! My husband is so excited to try!
Yes, it’s 2 1/2 cups of water to 2 cups of vinegar. This is Ball’s recipe rather than mine, so they built it to produce extra brine. You could always save the extra brine and make more pickles.
Can I substitute the sugar for monk sugar
There’s no safety reason why you can’t, but I can’t make any guarantees about the finished flavor.
Julie, please tell us about the overnight brining method. Are you saying pickle crisp is better? Soggy pickles are not fun.
This recipe is slightly different from the one in the Ball Blue Book. That one has you adding Ball Mixed Pickling Spice to the brine, and using equal parts of water/vinegar. This was my very first attempt at pickling cukes. I followed that recipe to the “T” and they came out REEEALLY tart – like screw-your-face-up-after-sucking-on-a-lemon tart! They weren’t exactly Aunt Bea’s Kerosene Pickles, but close!! Throwing away 6 pints.
I’ll try this-here recipe tomorrow, sans pickling spice and might drop the vinegar just a little bit further. Wish me luck!!
You need the volume of vinegar in this recipe for safety. How long did you wait before tasting them? You want to give them several weeks, so the salt can pull the water out of the cucumbers.
Can the sugar be left out all together and can apple cider vinegar be substituted for the white vinegar?
Yes to both. Just make sure that the apple cider vinegar is 5% acidity.
I’m new to canning and notice the vinegar in this recipe is less than the water. I read on a safe canning site about water to vinegar ratio being safest at 50/50 but there are some exceptions. I am wondering if this recipe might be one of them? Want to make sure this measurement is correct before eating!
This recipe comes from the Ball Canning test kitchen, so I have no reason to believe it’s unsafe. Though it is true that typically, the 50/50 ratio is the common one.
do you have to slice if their the baby cukes
For this particular recipe, it is recommended that you use medium sized pickling cucumbers and slice them.
After canned, can I store the jars on a shelf or only in the refrigerator?
Canning makes them shelf stable, so they can be stored in the pantry until opened.
What if you have the Ball Kosher Dill Pickle Mix? What do you use for a recipe for that?
Typically, those mixes come with a recipe. There is also a recipe on freshpreserving.com that you could potentially use with that mix. https://www.freshpreserving.com/blog?cid=picklecrisp
Hi! I love these pickles! It’s the second year of making them! I think it’s a tradition!
How long can you save the extra brine in the refrigerator?
Thank you so much!
It should be fine for a few weeks.