In the previous post I mentioned that trying to avoid artificial food dyes is tricky: even pickles have them!
I want to share my family’s pickle recipe. Going back to my roots!
Pickling cucumbers 2 lbs
Water 2 cups
Vinegar 2 cups
Salt 2 tablespoons
Garlic 4 cloves
Black tea leaves
- Thoroughly wash the cucumbers, cut off stem about 0.5″ from both ends.
- Place dill, garlic, peppercorns and tea leaves on the bottom of a jar.
- Pack the cucumbers into the jar, add more dill and garlic.
- Combine water, vinegar and salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Pour the brine over the pickles, filling the jars to within 0.5″ to the top.
- Once it cools down to room temperature, put the jar in the refrigerator.
- Fourty eight hours later, enjoy crunchy dill pickles!
Every summer my parents’ kitchen would turn into a jam and pickle factory. They never used written down recipes, but the jams, jellies, apple sauce, pickled vegetables, sauerkraut always turned out great.
This is my attempt to recreate the dill pickle recipe.
Wash cucumbers, cut off 0.5″ from both stem and flower side.
The flower end of a cucumber contains enzymes that will lead to limp pickles.
Place dill, garlic, peppercorns and black tea leaves in the jar.
This was the biggest mystery of my childhood: why do we have to put these weird leaves in pickles?
White oak, horseradish, black tea, grape, currant and raspberry leaves contain tannins, naturally occurring phenol compounds that keep pickles crisp.
Pack the cucumbers into the jar, add more dill and garlic. Pack the cucumber as tight as possible without damaging them.
But why is the jar laying on it’s side?
It’s just easier to pack cucumbers into a tall jar when it’s on the side.
Combine water and vinegar, add salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
Pour the brine over the pickles, filling the jars to within 0.5″ to the top.
Once it cools down to room temperature, put the jar in the refrigerator.
After 48 hours in the refrigerator, pickles are ready!
Don’t be alarmed if pickled garlic turns green. It’s normal! Acid in vinegar ruptures the cell membranes of the garlic cloves. Amino acids and sulfur compounds mix, and as a result enzyme isoallin is released. Isoallin reaction with aminoacids results blue pigmentation.
Side note 2.
To make sure that added tannins help make crispy pickles, I made 2 jars: one with tea leaves and one without.