Friday, August 5, 2011
Claussen Knock-Off Pickles
Claussen Knock-Off Pickles
very slightly adapted from Rebecca
35 to 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers
8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
4 fresh dill heads OR 4 tablespoons dried dill seed (*not dill weed*)
1 gallon cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
2/3 cup canning or kosher salt
1. Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.
2. Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise or into quarters, depending on how large your cucumbers are and how big you want them to be when they're done.
3. In a gallon jar, layer the dill heads or seed, garlic cloves and sliced cucumbers.
4. In a separate pitcher or bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt is dissolved.
5. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, taking care to make sure all of them are fully submerged.
6. Cover lightly with a lid just perched on top or secure a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep fruit flies away.
7. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for two to four days, or until the cucumbers taste like pickles throughout. If at any point "fuzz" or "foam" develops on top of the brine, use a spoon to remove it. If there is "fuzz" attached to any of the cucumbers, remove the ones affected and be sure the others are still fully submerged.
8. When the pickles are ready, fix your lid tightly onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.
I love pickles. Any kind of pickles. Even the neon green store bought pickles. I was worried I would never be able to make homemade pickles that were crunchy, but Rebecca proved me wrong.
These are crunchy, garlicky and perfect as a late afternoon snack, especially in this hot weather. I ate a whole jar myself the first day they were ready, they are THAT good - AND they take no virtually time or effort.
Cooking notes: Best in a large jar, but if you're like me and are scaling the recipe and storing in smaller jars, you may have to cut a bit more off the ends of the pickles so that they will be submerged fully when you pour in the brine. If they have any pieces sticking out, they will develop fuzz and you'll have to throw them away (lesson learned!).
Also, if you do scale down for smaller storage, split the pickling spice evenly among the jars and then mix just the water, vinegar and salt and pour that over each jar. It's not really possible to smoothly distribute the pickling spice among numerous jars once the seeds have sunk to the bottom of the pitcher (second lesson learned!).