Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles
My neighbor and friend, Mary, makes a big ol’ batch of dill pickles every year with enough to give away lots of jars as Christmas gifts to friends and family. Mary, with the help of her friend Cindy, made the pickles this year, and taught me the process. And, I get to share it with you.
I had lots of fun learning each of the steps. Now, I won’t get to enjoy the pickles until Thanksgiving time because they are supposed to sit for at least 6 weeks before opening the jars. So, I’ll be taking my dill pickles to Thanksgiving to share with my family.
The recipe below makes at least 50 quarts of dill pickles. Like I said, enough to share with everyone! Feel free to cut the recipe down if you prefer not to make that many pickles. But, if you feel like giving it a try, invite a few friends over and make a party of it! You’ll have fun, I promise!
The recipe calls for cleaned cukes. To clean them, they have a very unusual process, and one that they swear by! Run the whole cucumbers through a laundry washing machine, the top loading kind, on a gentle cycle. Rinse, agitate, spin, then let the cukes soak in cold water overnight.
Some of the ingredients in the recipe below are not exact. It’s up to the maker how many garlic cloves, jalapeño strips, and/or chilies to put in each jar. You decide how hot you want the pickles, and how many different colors you want in each jar. So, the amount you’ll need varies.
For the chiles, this year they had three different kinds, ring of fire chilies, Christmas chilies, and ghost chilies (those super hot hot ones). Use a small red chili that you like the flavor of, and that fits in the jar, it makes it pretty too to have the different colors in the jar.
All of the ingredients in the jar are edible, from the pickles, to the garlic cloves, the chilies, to the grape leaves. I think it’ll be fun to try the garlic spread on a cracker and see how it is.
Mary’s Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe
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- 4 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup coarse sea salt
- 12 cups water
- Dill flowers cleaned and snipped
- 60 pounds cleaned cucumbers
- grape leaves cleaned
- Jalapenos cut into long strips, about ½ inch thick
- garlic cloves
- dried red chilies
- Place the brine ingredients, white vinegar, salt, and water, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer.
- Have a large pot of water on the stove, at a boil, ready to can the pickles.
- In each quart jar, layer, 1 grape leaf (vein side up), 1/8 teaspoon alum, a head of dill flowers, 1-2 jalapeno strips, 1-2 garlic cloves, 1-2 red chilies, and stuff the cucumbers in tight. Pack the jar full, as the cucumbers will shrink in the hot brine. Pack in 1-2 more garlic cloves, and top with another grape leaf (vein side up). Pour hot brine in over the top using a wide mouth funnel, and filling the jar full.
- Place the lids and the rings on the jars. Place the jars in a water bath, bring the water back up to a boil, and boil them for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the boiling water bath, and set aside to cool. You should hear the lids pop as they cool.
- Wait 6 weeks or longer for the pickles to be ready. The longer they sit, the batter they taste, and the hotter they are.
Makes about 50 quarts