Spicy, sweet or zesty, it's never been easier to enjoy the crisp, tangy taste of homemade pickles. And with recipes like these you can preserve perfect pickles for any palate.
Here are a few tips from the pickling pros at Mrs. Wages to help you give your cukes a kick of great homemade flavor:
-Choose pickling cucumbers, not slicing cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are short and blocky - about 4 inches long. They should be firm and green in color with no blemishes.
-For pickles, you must cut off 1/16 inch from the blossom end to help prevent soft mushy pickles. The blossom end contains an enzyme that will cause softening.
-Keep the cukes cool in the refrigerator until you have enough to make a batch, but do not hold them too long or you will end up with shriveled pickles.
-Use real canning jars. Don't use jars that once contained peanut butter, pickles, mayo, etc. Clear canning jars are what you need. Use flat lids (called either lid or flat) and a ring to seal the jar. Also check for nicks and cracks - these may cause seal failure.
Find more tips, canning recipes and the Mrs. Wages Canning Guide at www.mrswages.com.
Yield: 7 quarts
9 to 11 lbs pickling cucumbers
(about 50 - 3 to 4 inches)
3 1/3 cups Mrs. Wages White Distilled Vinegar
7 1/3 cups water
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Spicy Pickles Mix
(Medium or Hot)
Prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions for sterilized jars.
Wash cucumbers and remove blossom ends; drain. Leave whole, cut into spears or slice.
Combine vinegar and water into a large non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, add pickle mix and stir until dissolved.
Pack cucumbers into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and cap each jar as it is filled. If more liquid is needed for proper headspace, add a mix of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water (this mixture should be boiling hot).
Process pints 5 minutes, quarts 10 minutes, in a boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer's directions. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.
Product is ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving, chill to enhance flavor and crispness.
Note: Processing times are for altitudes less than 1000 feet. At altitudes of 1000 feet or more increase processing time 1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude.