Yield: Makes about 5 x 500 ml jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Processing Time: 15 Minutes
Always use fresh whole pickling spice for best flavour and quality as heat and humidity cause a loss in pungency.
4 lb (1.8 kg) medium cucumbers, about 30
4 cups (1000 ml) cider vinegar
4 cups (1000 ml) water
3/4 cup (175 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) pickling salt
3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh mixed pickling spices
5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves
2 -1/2 tsp (12 ml) mustard seed
5 heads fresh dill or 5 tsp (25 ml) dried dill seed
• Wash cucumbers, scrubbing lightly with a soft vegetable brush. Rinse well in cool running water. Cut 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) slice off blossom end (opposite stem end) and discard. Cut cucumbers into 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) slices.
• Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a large stainless steel saucepan. Tie pickling spices in cheesecloth creating a spice bag; add spice bag to vinegar mixture and simmer 15 minutes.
• Place 5 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs lids hot until ready to use.
• In a hot jar, place 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp (2 ml) mustard seed and 1 head of fresh dill or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill seed. Pack cucumber slices into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot liquid to cover cucumber to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more cucumber slices and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining cucumber slices and hot liquid.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 15 minutes.*
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.