My garden is overflowing with dill and Kirby cucumbers so I have been making refrigerator pickles and they are delish! Below you will find a little history of Kosher pickles and my recipe for how to make two pint jars in 10 minutes! Try to wait 48 hours before cracking them open!
According to Wikipedia, a “kosher” dill pickle is not necessarily kosher in the sense that it has been prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law. Rather, it is a pickle made in the traditional manner of Jewish New York City pickle makers, with generous addition of garlic and dill to a salt brine. In New York terminology, a “full-sour” kosher dill is one that has fully fermented, while a “half-sour”, given a shorter stay in the brine, is still crisp and bright green.
Dill pickles (not necessarily described as “kosher”) have been served in New York City since at least 1899. They are not, however, native to New York; they have been prepared in Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Poland for hundreds of years. In Hungary, (where my family is from), during the summer kovászos uborka (“leavened pickles”) are made without the use of vinegar. Cucumbers are placed in a glass vessel along with spices, usually dill and garlic, water and salt. Additionally, a slice or two of bread (my grandmother used rye) are placed at the top and bottom of the solution, and the container is left to sit in the sun for a few days so the yeast in the bread can help cause a fermentation process.
How to Make Dill Pickles:
8 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 ½ lbs)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dill seed dried (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoons mustard seed
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1 ½ Tablespoons kosher salt
2 wide mouth glass pint jars with lids
- Add the spices to the jars—divide the garlic, dill, mustard seed, and bay leaves evenly between the two jars.
- Prepare the cucumbers—wash and dry the cucumbers. Trim away the blossom end of the cucumber (which contains enzymes that can lead to limp pickles.) Leave the pickles whole, cut them into spears, or slice them into coins, as preferred
- Pack the pickles into the jars—Trim the ends if they stand more than ½ inch below the top of the jar. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing the cucumbers
- Bring the pickling brine to a boil—Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, filling each jar to within ½ inch of the top. Gently tap jar on the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary. (You might not use all the brine)
- Cool and refrigerate—Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight. Let the jars cool to room temperature and store in the fridge.
- The pickles will improve with flavor as they age. Refrigerator pickles will keep for several other weeks.