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Easy Homemade Spicy Dill Pickles (No canning required!)

September 12, 2015

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As summer comes to a close for most parts of the U.S., here in New Orleans it’s still hot and humid. However, my summer garden is starting to reach the end of it’s life. That means making use of my incredible cucumber harvest! This year it seemed liked my cucumbers were on steroids, some growing longer than my Macbook (see photo below).

giant-cucumber

My husband is not fond of cucumbers but he loves pickles, and he loves all things spicy, so I decided to test out a new spicy dill pickle recipe to make use of my summer bounty. I found this recipe on Foodnetwork.com from Emeril. For the first batch I followed it exactly but the second round I used fresh habanero peppers and a few more of them in each jar and about 1/3 less sugar. They came out very spicy but those who can handle the heat loved them.

This recipe calls to use a canner and boil but you don’t have go through the canning process if you can refrigerate them and eat them within a few months or if you are like me and give most of them away to your friends. If you want to save some outside of the refrigerator and for a longer period, you will have to can them.

One other thing to note is that most recipes call for “pickling cucumbers” which are called Kirbies but I just used normal garden cucumbers and they turned out great. There we more seeds but little difference on the texture and crispness of the pickle.

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Recipe:

  • 5-6 large cucumbers , each between 6 and 8-inches long (If you can’t find them this large use 7-9 regular size cucumbers)
  • 2 small bunches fresh dill
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 6 dried small red chili peppers (use 2-4 more if you want them really hot)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Chill the cucumbers in ice water or in the refrigerator for over an hour.

Sterilize your mason jars and lids in a hot water bath according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Divide the dill, onions, garlic, peppers and peppercorns among the jars.

Slice the cucumbers leaving the skin on horizontally for chips or vertically for spears to fit your mason jars. I eyeballed this and did a few different types of jars. If you are doing spears, test one slice to fit the jar first to make sure they are all the right length before you cut them all.  Tightly pack into the jars.

In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Tap the jars on the counter to dispel any air bubbles, cover with lids and rings, and seal tightly. Let cool for  20-30 minutes.

Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.

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