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How to can pickles
Cool and crunchy, these sliced pickles go from snack to sandwich in a pinch.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1.8 kg medium cucumbers
4 cups water
1/2 cup pickling salt
4 bay leaves
4 heads fresh dill or 4 tsp dried dill seed
4 cups cider vinegar
¾ cup sugar
3 Tbsp fresh mixed picking spices
2 tsp mustard seed
Can preparation process
Place two clean 1-litre mason jars on the rack in a boiling water canner. Cover the jars with water and heat to a simmer. Heat sealing discs in hot, not boiling, water. Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
Ingredients preparation process
To prepare the cucumbers, wash and scrub lightly with a soft vegetable brush. Rinse well and cut a small slice off blossom end (opposite stem end) and discard. Cut cucumbers into slices. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a large stainless steel saucepan. Tie pickling spices in cheesecloth to a spice bag and add it to the vinegar mixture. Simmer 15 minutes.
In a hot jar, place 2 bay leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp mustard seed and 2 heads of fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill seed. Pack cucumber slices into hot jar, leaving 2 cm of headspace. Add hot liquid to cover cucumber to within 1 cm of top of jar. Using a spatula, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more cucumber slices and hot liquid. Wipe the jar rim clean to remove any food residue. Place lids and bands on jars and screw tight until resistance is met. Do not over tighten. Return the filled jar to the rack in canner and repeat for remaining jars.
Cover the jars with water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Boil filled jars for 15 minutes.
Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them on a protected work surface. Cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not retighten screw bands.
After cooling check jar seals by pressing the top of each seal. If they do not bounce back it means the seals have taken. Remove screw bands and wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.