Homemade Pickles

Give guests jars of homemade pickles for a rustic, DIY favor. This recipe can easily be multiplied. Download the customizable favor tag here.

  • Yield: Makes three 16-ounce jars

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2011

Ingredients

Brine

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns

Pickles

  • 6 to 8 cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch spears
  • 12 sprigs dill
  • 12 cloves garlic

Directions

  1. Sterilize canning jars on stovetop by boiling in a water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and leave jars in the water until just before ready to fill. Leave water bath on the stove to process the filled jars. Sterilize lids according to manufacturer's instructions.

  2. While jars are boiling, combine brine ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from heat and cover to keep hot.

  3. Remove jars from hot water with canning tongs, and set on a padded layer of clean towels. Fill the still-hot jars with the cucumber spears, and divide the dill and garlic among them.

  4. Ladle the hot brine into the jars, filling to just below the threading for the lid; this will leave headspace for expansion during canning.

  5. Bring the water bath back to a rolling boil, and leave the heat on. Put the lids on the jars, then add rings, and close firmly but not too tight.

  6. Submerge jars in the boiling water for 7 minutes. Then remove with canning tongs, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours so a vacuum seal forms. When the jars are cool, check for a slight indentation in the lid, which indicates a vacuum seal. If any jars did not seal properly, refrigerate and eat within a few days. Properly sealed jars can be stored unopened for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening and eat within a week.

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