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.
- 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.