I love dill pickles with a passion. No wait – let me re-state that. I love truly good dill pickles with a passion. And for decades, come cucumber time I would make my mother’s dearest friend Charlotte’s dill pickles. They are simply beyond belief good. So for all you purists out there, I have included Charlotte’s recipe at the end of this post.
But for all of you who happen to be like me – too lazy or too busy to get your canning act together, I offer this recipe for quick and easy dill pickles that I found on the “Once upon a Chef” website. (Great site BTW)
And talk about instant (well almost instant) gratification! No more waiting for several months to finally be able to open a jar. These babies are ready in about 48 hours. (The original recipe states that they are ready in 24 hours, but I found that they needed another day to reach their full potential.)
And guess what? You can make these pickles year round. No waiting for that 2 or 3 week window when pickling cucumbers are at their peak and you have vacation plans. Now, whenever the mood hits you, you can make up a batch and within 48 hours be crunching on a slender spear of heavenliness. (I’m not sure that’s a word, but I’m going to use it anyway!)
Of course if you don’t like super crunchy dill pickles, with a nice vinegary, garlicky, and slightly hot (from the crushed red pepper flakes) bite, you are not going to like these pickles in the least. You might as well leave this post right now and not waste your time reading any further. (It’s only going to be more pickle information and effusive plaudits for my recipe find of the decade!) But for those of you who, like me, worship the ground that cucumbers are raised on, please continue reading.
The only problem you might find with this recipe is locating the right cucumbers for these pickles. You really can’t use regular American slicing or English cucumbers. They won’t stay crisp. You need to use Kirby, Persian, or small pickling cucumbers for this recipe. During late summer your best bet for finding pickling cucumbers is your local farmer’s market or fruit stand. During the rest of the year, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Central Market (here in the Seattle area) usually carry at least the Persian variety.
So have fun with this recipe. If you also enjoy Bread and Butter Pickles, check out my quick and easy recipe also on this site.
- 1¼ c. white vinegar
- 3 T. kosher salt
- 2 T. granulated sugar
- 2 c. cold water
- 2 lbs. Kirby, Persian, or mini cucumbers, blossom/stem end cut off, then cut into spears
- 2 T. coriander seeds
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. dill seeds, opt.
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 16 dill sprigs (2-oz. pkg.)
Combine the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
Stuff the cucumber spears into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, dill seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours, then serve. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for a month or more. (But good luck keeping them that long!)
DILL PICKLES (CHARLOTTE’S)
- 12-14 sterilized wide mouth qt. jars and lids (I sterilize the jars in the dishwasher. I boil the lids on the stove.)
- 12 lbs. pickling cucumbers, 3-4 inches long
- 2 to 2½ tsp. alum
- 12-14 garlic cloves
- 12-14 small dried hot red pepper pods
- 1 bunch fresh dill, cut in 4-inch lengths
- 2 qt. white vinegar
- 6 qt. water
- 2 c. pickling or kosher salt
Thoroughly scrub the cucumbers. Lightly pack in jars. To each jar add 1/8 teaspoon alum, 1 clove garlic, 1 small dry red pepper, and a lot of dill, stems and all. Meanwhile bring vinegar, water, and salt to a boil. Pour hot brine over pickles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary. Seal as quickly and as tightly as possible. Store for at least 3 months before eating.
Please Note: If any of the lids don’t seal properly, store the jars in your refrigerator.