In the never ending quest for a good crisp pickle recipe for canning, I happened across this one. Discussions on facebook always turn to ‘my pickles are mushy’ even when using Ball Pickle Crisp. Such was the case with me – and last season (2016) I canned over 28 pints of cucumbers from my garden and ended up throwing all of them away. No one in my family liked them at all! So, I tried this recipe and I really liked the taste, the texture is more like a Claussen pickle, the taste is very similar IMO.
Garlic Lime Pickles
- 6 lbs fresh cucumbers
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 quarts water
- 1 quart distilled white vinegar (5%)
- 1 cup canning or pickling salt
- Fresh dill to taste
- Pickling Lime
- Canning jars
- Sprigs of Dill
- Whole black peppercorns
- Whole mustard seeds
- Red pepper flakes
- WHEN canning, always be sure to follow a safe tested recipe. Using the brine from the NCHFP recipe, this allows a 2:1 ratio of water to vinegar. So whatever your quantity of cucumbers happens to be – this is how you plan for the amount of brine you need. The amount of salt in this recipe, calls for an 8:1 ratio, which is a lot of salt, and is used for flavor only, it is not a safety issue, so feel free to reduce the salt to 1/2 cup.
- MIX 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup of pickling lime. Be sure to stand a bit back so you do not breathe in the pickling lime – it is very powdery and creates ‘dust’ as you use it. Use a whisk to completely dissolve the lime into the water.
- CUT both ends off of your cucumbers, as leaving these on, will result in mushy pickles. It has something to do with enzymes in the stem end. I cut mine either on a mandolin at 1/8 inch or I have a crinkle cutter. As you cut your cucumbers, place them in the lime soak bowl.
- SOAK for 24 hours, drain and rinse thoroughly in small batches to make sure you have completely rinsed off the lime soak.
- FILL your bowl with ice water and soak the cucumbers for 3 hours, drain, rinse and repeat 3 times. You will be able to feel how crispy your cucumbers are.
- MAKE THE BRINE by bringing the vinegar, water, salt to a boil. Add your cucumbers and let them soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, but reserve the liquid.
- BRING the brine to a boil and keep on a slow simmer while you prepare your jars for canning.
- USING clean pint jars, pack with your sliced pickles, add 1-2 sprigs of dill, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp dill seed. Do this one jar at a time, do not stage jars.
- USING a ladle and a funnel, add brine to cover, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Add your lid, and screw your ring on to fingertip tight. (This means..do not twist down as hard as you can turn the ring, but rather when it starts to feel slightly tight, give it one more half turn.
- PLACE your jars in your water bath or steam canner and repeat until you have the canner filled. I use a steam canner for my convenience.
- PROCESS jars for 15 minutes, allow to cool for 5 before removing the lid. Using a jar lifter, place hot jars on a wooden surface covered by a dishcloth and leave undisturbed for 12 hours.
- CLEAN your cooled jars by washing with a hot soapy dishcloth to remove any residue and viola! Pickles!
- STORE your canned goods on a sturdy shelf, preferably one that is dark to preserve the color. Always check your jars before opening to use, to ensure that the seal is intact and there is no mold.