I remember growing up every year my grandmother would make several batches of Bread and Butter pickles and dill pickles from cucumbers she had grown in her garden. So feeing a bit nostalgic, I decided this year I would tried my hand at growing pickling cucumbers. We're not big fans of cucumbers, but pickles are a different thing. We love them on burgers and in salads. I'm glad I did, these little gems so far are amazing. I say so far, because I've only tried them pre-canning, but my husband loved them also, and he's a bit picky about his pickles. So I'm excited to open and use them in a few weeks. If you know the basics of canning, these are simple to make and definately worth taking the time to make. So much so these little pickling cucumbers have definately earned their place in my garden from here on out.
Hamburger dill pickles
4 pounds pickling cucumbers
2 tablespoons canning salt or kosher salt
2 1/2 quarts water
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
fresh pickling dill
3 teaspoons mustard seeds
6 bay leaves
18 to 24 black peppercorns
Slice ends off cucumbers then slice in 1/4-inch rounds. Put the cucumber slices in a large nonreactive bowl or pot and cover with the 2 1/2 quarts of water. Add 3 tablespoons salt, and a few pieces of fresh dill and stir until salt is dissolved. Cover and let stand for at least 12 hours.
Drain cucumber slices.
Prepare jars. Fill a boiling water canner half-full with water; add jars and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep jars hot.
In a nonreactive pot, combine the 3 cups vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Into each of 6 pint jars, 1 or 2 fresh dill flower heads, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 bay leaf, 3 or 4 peppercorns, and about 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Pack with cucumbers.
Add hot vinegar mixture to each jar, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace.
Wipe rims and threads of jars with a damp paper towel. Fit with lids and screw on jar rings tightly. Put the jars in a rack and lower into the hot water. If necessary, add more boiling of near-boiling water so the water level is 1 to 2 inches above the jars. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely. Check for seals about 24 hours later. Store in a cool dark place for a few weeks before using.
Makes 6 pints.