One of the highlights for my growing season is to prepare Garlic Dill Pickles from my freshly picked Kirby Cuc’s. The success rate is very high, but it is important that you have the freshest ingredients and proper equipment. Using Kirby Cuc’s ( versus Slicing Cucumbers are an important factor. Slicing cucumbers tend to be the larger of the two styles. Their thin-skins and fleshy meat are perfectly suited for fresh eating But not for that crunchy pickle so good on the other hand for making pickles.
The key to the process is lactose fermentation which encourages the growth of naturally occurring Lactobacillus, bacteria that convert sugars and starches into lactic acid and other substances. The lactic acid preserves the fermented produce. And the fermentation process produces a wide variety of healthy bacteria. ( That is your science lesson for the day!)
To manage this, you will need either Grape Leaves ( preferable) or Oak Leaves. So it is a good time to scope out where there are wineries ( a bonus for some) or friends that are growing grapes! The other alternative is to reach out to your specialty grocer to inquire about the availability. The organic stores to tend to carry.
From start to finish, you will be biting into your pickle in 4-5 days. ( depending on your specific tastes)
Have fun and send in your photos of you crunching away!
Pike Lane Gardens Garlic Dill Pickles
- 2 -1 Gallon Buckets
- 18-24 Kirby or Pickling Cucumber (depending on how many you want)
- 1 Large head Garlic (with press)
- 2 large Bunches Dill
- 4 Tablespoons-Dill Seeds
- 12 Large Grape Leaves (you can get at supermarket)
- Kosher Salt ( ¾ Cup per gallon
- Cheese Cloth
- Dinner Plate
Wash Cucumbers in Cold water and set aside
In Bucket #1 – Make Brine Solution
¾ Cup of Kosher Salt in 1 gallon of Cold Water (more salt if you like a saltier pickle
Stir and Set aside
In Bucket #2
Sprinkle Fresh Dill Sprigs and Dill Seeds on bottom of bucket
Add 1 layer of cucumbers
Sprinkle Pressed Garlic. (Half)
1 Layer of Dill
2nd Layer of Cucumbers
Sprinkle Pressed Garlic (2nd Half)
- Pour Brine Liquid over the Bucket 2 Mixture until cucumbers are floating
- Place layer of Grape Leaves covering the circumference of the bucket
- The Grape leaves have Tannins which will allow the Lactose Fermentation Process
- Cover With 9-inch China Plate (not Metal or Paper) and press down gently to remove air
- Place Rock over the top of the plate to secure
- Cover Bucket with Cheese Cloth.
- Store the Bucket in the shade for 3 days.
- After 3 days, sample one of the pickles for flavor.
- Continue for 1 or 2 days additional based on personal Taste
Pickles can be refrigerated up to 2 months for enjoyment
Note: As more time goes by, the pickles will lose their crunch