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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

August 4, 2011

Want to make dill pickles without boiling water or worrying about the risk of botulism, as you’d have to with a traditional pickle recipe? Refrigerator dill pickles to the rescue! These pickles require less than five minutes of prep time, but you have to wait a day before you enjoy them. Although you are supposed to eat them in a week, I’ve found them to be perfectly good much longer than that. This recipe is a modified version of a recipe I got from Boston Organics, an organic food delivery service in Boston.

Most dill pickle recipes recommend that you dissolve the sugar in the water and cider vinegar in a saucepan over heat, but because I use different size jars and different size pickles each time I make this I never know how much water I’ll need and thus how much to dissolve the sugar into. But I’ve found you don’t really need to dissolve the sugar, especially if you shake well at the end of the recipe. That said, if you have your heart set on dissolving the sugar over heat, I recommend doing so into the vinegar and less water than you are likely to need – maybe 1/2 of a cup. The point of dissolving over heat is to make a syrup, which is unlikely to separate back into water and sugar.

To make these pickles you will need:

  • 1 small bunch dill, minced along with stems and any flowers
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp dill seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 canning cucumbers, which tend to be smaller and squatter than most cukes
  • water to cover contents, exact amount depends on the size of your glass jar and the number/size of your cucumber slices

Here’s what to do:

  • Grind the white pepper, yellow mustard, and dill seeds in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder (the latter works even better on dill seeds).*
  • Combine all ingredients except for water in jar.
  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then cut each one of these halves again in half lengthwise.
  • Pack as many of the cucumber slices as you can into jar. Eat the rest.
  • Fill to top with water, cap, and shake to dissolve sugar and salt.
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours and enjoy.

*In the pictures you can see that on this go around I forgot to grind the mustard seeds and dill seeds and just threw them in whole  – oops! This is what comes of using one pre-ground ingredient (white pepper): You forget that others aren’t ready to go right in. No worries, it turned out fine.

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