Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brockelbank Sisters Imitation Harvey's Dill Pickles Recipe

Two years ago Crystal and I embarked on a journey to can everything we could, to reduce our exposure to BPA and Pesticide residues.  There was something exciting about canning produce and knowing exactly what is in the jar.  No unpronounceable additives. Also, picking the freshest produce creates a wonderful flavour you cannot get with store bought jars.

This turned into a lot of work! Especially since we canned, Jalape├▒os, Peach Salsa, Tomato Salsa, Pickled Green Beans, Diced Tomatoes, Dill Pickles and Pumpkin.  Canning our own food quite frankly became an addiction.  It is a good thing that Crystal kept talking me into going to the marked and just doing one more half bushel of pickles.  Because the following year there was a newborn in the house and no canning got done.

We must have lucked out because our dill pickles were a huge hit!  We believed that they rivaled Harvey's Hamburger pickles, which are famous in our family.  We had never done pickles before but looked up a bunch of recipes online and came up with this:

What you Need:

1/2     Bushel Pickling Cucumbers
3.5     Red Peppers (chopped finely)
3        Bunches Dill Weed
2 lg    Heads Garlic
1.5     Bags Chilli Pepper Flakes
5 3/4  Cups White Vinegar
1 1/2  Cups Pickling Salt
22      Cups Water

20      Quart Jars (Widemouth are the easiest to stuff)

Now What???

1. Sterilize all your jars in the dishwasher or boil for 10 minutes.  Dishwasher is way easier and can be done while you sleep the night before pickling.

2. Decide how you would like your pickles cut or if at all.  Do the cutting.  Using a mandolin can make for quick, even slicing especially with larger pickles.  Hint: Larger Cucumbers require some slicing but are usually cheaper.

3.  Line up the Jars and add to each Jar:

2 tsp Chili Flakes
2/3 of an extra large garlic clove or 1 average size cut in half
2 tbsp Chopped Red Pepper
2 Heads of Dill Weed along with some stalk

4.  Stuff cucumbers in Jars so that they are packed tightly.  Do not allow pickles to rise above neck of jar as this would impede the canning process.

5. Add vinegar, salt and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.  

6.  Add Snap Lids to a pot of water and boil for 5 minutes.

7. Pour the hot brine over jars of pickles leaving a 1/2" head space.

8.  Remove a lid carefully and place on top of jar without contaminating the inside.  Screw ring on firmly but not too tightly.  As it will allow air to escape during processing.  But you want the ring tight enough that the lid is held firmly in place.

9.  Add jars to canner and fill water until it reaches the bottom of the jar necks.  

10.  Bring water almost to a boil and remove jars.
11.  You must empty the canner and add cool water before processing your next batch of pickles.  This will prevent breakage of jars as well as keep your pickles crisp.

12.  Adding brine just before processing will also help keep pickles crisp.  As they will not have to be heated twice: once by the brine and second time by processing.

Let your pickles sit for 8 weeks and Enjoy!!!

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