Kosher Dill Pickles

dill pickles in a jar
Kosher Dill Pickles

THIS one is the winner of three canned dill pickle recipes I tried:

(Nadia’s favorite hot water bath process pickles)
50-60 Pickling cucumbers (enough to fill 10 quarts)
1 c. canning salt
1 qt. dark vinegar
3 quarts Water
10-20 large cloves garlic, peeled
10-20 heads fresh dill (all depends on size, if small, use 2 per jar)
1 jar grape leave (buy at deli) or 10-20 fresh (1-2 per quart)

Scrub pickles and trim off the blossom ends (they sometimes contain an enzyme that will make pickles soft). If you cucumbers are not picked the same day, put them in a big tub of ice water and let them soak and freshen up for an hour or two.

I like to put 2 grape leaves in each jar. Boil canning salt, vinegar and water. In sterile quart jars, put in garlic first, then 1 grape leaf and ½ to 1 head dill. Then fill jar with the cucumbers (I usually leave them whole but you could use spears) leaving enough room at the top for another head of dill and a grape leaf. Topping with a grape leaf helps keep pickles below the brine and also makes them very crispy. If you don’t have dill, you can use oak leaves (rounded corners, or fresh bay leaves).

Fill the jars with hot brine, cover tightly with fresh lids and process in a hot water bath 10 minutes. (Modern canning methods advise 15 minutes, I always do 10.) You may or may not use all of your brine.