Nana’s Dill Pickles

We posted an Instagram a video of us making pickles with Nana a few weeks ago, and a lot of you loved seeing the Queen of the Kitchen at work. We have been making pickles with her every August since we can remember and it was so special to capture the process on camera and share it with you! We eat these pickles year round, but especially during the Jewish holidays. You will never find our Rosh Hashanah dinner table without a platter olives and homemade pickles. 

There are some materials required in order to preserve the pickles, so be sure you get your shopping list covered before pickle making day! The pickles can be eaten as soon as 10 days after they are jarred but are eaten ideally two to three weeks later; be sure to make this recipe well in advance of when you want to eat your pickles. 

Nana’s Dill Pickles 
Makes: 8 mason jars (roughly 50 pickles) 
Prep Time: 30 minutes + 24 hour overnight soak to clean cucumbers
Total Time: 11 days (at a minimum for pickling, up to 21 days)

Items Required**:

  • 8 large mason jars
  • 8 NEW mason jar lids (this is extremely important in making sure the cucumbers pickle properly and are preserved well)

Ingredients:

  • 50-60 pickling cucumbers – Ideally, you will want to get as many SMALL cucumbers that you can find so that you can fit more in the jars.
  • 8 tbs kosher salt
  • 24 garlic cloves, sliced 
  • 8 tsp pickling spice
  • 16 whole, dried red chili peppers 
  • 4 large bunches of dill weed 

Directions:

  1. Clean the cucumbers by letting them soak overnight in cold water. Using a light brush, scrub off any dirt but be sure not to puncture the cucumber.
  2. Place the mason jar lids in boiling water and set aside.
  3. Put a rounded tablespoon of kosher salt, 3 sliced garlic cloves,1 tsp of pickling salt and 2 dried chili peppers in the bottom of each mason jar. If you want spicy pickles you can use up to 3 chili peppers per jar. 
  4. Fill the bottom of each mason jar with as many cucumbers as you can fit. You will want to put your largest cucumbers in this layer. Make sure the cucumbers are compact but not forced in the jar.
  5. Take a half bunch of dill and place in each mason jar.
  6. Using the smaller cucumbers, add as many as you can to fill up the remainder of the jar. Once full, fill each jar to the top with cold water. Seal each jar as tight as you can. 
  7. Place the jars in a cool area upside down so that they are standing on their lids. We typically put a paper towel underneath the jars so that we can tell if any of the lids are leaking. Leave upside down for 24 hours. 
  8. Flip the jars back over after 24 hours and re-tighten the lids. Store the jars in a cool place in your house for at least two weeks. As long as the jars are sealed and kept in a cool, dry location, you can keep them for up to 6 months. Refrigerate the pickle jars once they are opened. 

** Nana insists that if a woman is on her period while making this recipe, the pickles will be completely ruined. So if it is that time of the month, no pickle making for you! 


Quick & Easy Spicy Dill Pickles

We have been making pickles dill pickles with our Nana for as long as we can remember. We use them year round for Jewish holidays, sandwiches and really any meal which calls for them. While we plan to post our pickle recipe sometime in the future, the problem we have been running into is that those pickles take 2-3 weeks at a minimum to make. Not ideal if you haven’t had the time to plan in advance. We set out to create a recipe that captures the flavor of our Nana’s dill pickles in less time. This simple and quick dill pickle recipe literally made us do a double take when we ate them because they were so good.

Quick Dill Pickles

Makes: 16 oz jar of sliced pickles

Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb baby cucumbers
  • 7 oz fresh dill (one container at the store)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1+ cups water
  • 16 ounce mason jar

Directions:

  1. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Start filling the jar by layering the dry ingredients. Start with 1 tbs of salt, 1/2 the dill and 1/2 of the black peppercorns. Fill the jar half way with the cucumber slices. Add the remaining salt, dill and peppercorns. Fill to the top with the cucumber slices and top with the red pepper flakes and garlic. *This does not need to be exact. Just make sure all of the ingredients are in the jar*
  3. Once the ingredients are in the jar, pour in the vinegar and fill the jar to the top with water.
  4. Seal the jar tightly closed and turn it over so that it is standing on the cap. Leave the jar in the fridge for 4 hours until serving.

The pickles can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator so you do not need to eat them right away. Let them soak up that flavor and enjoy.