Dave's Cold Packed Polish Dills
Another pickling recipe which requires no special equipment because it does its magic in the refrigerator. This one is reprinted by permission from a blog called Dave's Cupboard, and we think it makes a great dill pickle. As written, it makes a gallon of dill spears, but the ingredients are easy to scale to make less. And you can make them with any size pickling cuke - whole smaller cukes, whole gherkins, or larger ones cut into spears or slices.
Ingredients (makes 1 gallon)
4 pounds pickling cucumbers
8 dill heads
6 cloves of garlic
8 cups of water
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt (3-1/2 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or two or three whole dried red chiles)
4 teaspoons whole mustard seed
Wash and dry the cucumbers; prick a few holes in each with a fork, or possibly quarter them lengthwise. Peel and break the garlic cloves.
Place half of the dill heads in the bottom of a clean 1-gallon jar or plastic tub. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and mustard seed. Pack loosely with cucumbers and top with the remaining dill. Chill while preparing brine.
Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, then cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers, making sure they are covered. Screw a lid on the jar and and store in the refrigerator for about 4 weeks before serving. if you've quartered the cucumbers instead of leaving them whole, they will be ready somewhat sooner (2 weeks instead.)
Ingredients can also be divided between four 1-quart widemouth jars. It's more convenient to make a gallon jar (which takes up less of a footprint in the refrigerator and then divide the pickles later into separate smaller jars when they are ready to eat.
Keeps well in the fridge for about 3 months.