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Classic Dill Pickles (Pickling Spices)

These homemade pickles are prepared with a brine that includes our pickling spices, a classic English blend of aromatic allspice, coriander, yellow mustard, fennel and bay leaves; cayenne and black pepper add a hint of zesty heat.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. pickling spices
  • 6 Tbs. dill seeds
  • 24 fresh dill sprigs
  • 6 lb. cucumbers, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small white onion, cut lengthwise into thin slices

Directions:

Have ready 6 hot, sterilized one-pint canning jars and their lids.

In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar and salt. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.

Meanwhile, in each jar, place 1 Tbs. pickling spices, 1 Tbs. dill seeds and 4 dill sprigs. Layer the cucumber and onion slices in the jars, packing them tightly and avoiding large gaps. Fill the jars to within 3/4 inch of the rims.

Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

To process the jars, put the sealed jars in a large deep pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot and boil the jars for 7 minutes, taking care that they are submerged at all times. Using long-handled tongs, transfer to a towel-lined surface to cool.

Let the jars stand undisturbed for 24 hours and then set them aside for 2 weeks to allow the flavors to develop. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 6 one-pint jars.

Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.