Homemade pickles are some of the best you can eat, as long as you have good ingredients. The great thing is there’s no need to be precise on the amounts. Almost any way you make it, as long as the proportions are more or less close, the pickles will taste great! For the last batch of about 10 jars I made each one was different, but they were all tasty.
The recipe here is more of a general guide and is very open to variation, and I encourage you to try out your own version.
So don’t worry if you’ve never made pickles before, this is going to be easy. Just learn some basics and play around until you find the combination you like.
Gather items for your pickle recipe
Home grown organic cucumbers (or store-bought cucumbers)
Banana peppers (or other minimally spicy peppers)
Apple cider vinegar
Himalayan sea salt
Whole black pepper
Large cooking pot
Several large glass jars
Prepare the pickle ingredients
To start cut fresh cucumbers into fourths if small, or into eighths if large. Make sure you have enough jars for the amount of cucumber slices.
Now take a clean jar and lay it on it’s side to allow you to place the cucumber slices inside without them falling to the bottom. Place the slices and optionally peppers and tomatoes inside until you fill the entire jar. Pack them in tight to get as many as you can. There’s still plenty of space for the pickle brine.
Turn the jars back upright and shake a bit to allow the cucumbers to settle to the bottom. You can add some salt, as well as other spices, whichever you prefer. Whole black pepper is good to add now as well as celery seed. The spices will settle towards the bottom but don’t worry. Once you add the boiling brine and cover the lid you shake it up to mix it around.
Next take fresh garlic and using a garlic press mince several cloves of garlic for each jar on the top.
Now on a cutting board and cut up fresh dill into pieces small enough to place on top of the cucumbers in the jar. Once this is done you have this:
Next you will start the pickle brine. This is basically half water, half apple cider vinegar, and salt. I recommend using the more natural apple cider vinegar, which is from apples, instead of other vinegars. Add enough liquid for half the number of jars you have. This is because the pickle brine will fill in the space where the packed pickles are in the jars.
To make it easy if you have 4 jars use one jar of water and one jar of vinegar. If you have 8 jars, then 2 and 2, etc.
Add liquid to the large pot and bring to a boil. Mix in a few tablespoons amount of sea salt, to taste.
You can add other spices as well, such as dried dill weed, mustard powder, crushed black pepper, and paprika (if you like it a bit spicy). You can also add some turmeric powder to the pickle brine for color. But be careful. Turmeric powder can stain. It can leave your fingers yellow for a couple of days.
Bringing it together – making the pickles
Push down the ingredients in each jar with the cucumbers, dill, and other spices. Make sure they are below the rim of the jar.
After the pickle brine has been brought to a boil turn off the heat. Bringing to a boil kills any bacteria that may be in the jar. Once the liquid has settled slowly pour the brine into each jar, careful not to burn yourself. You may need to use a funnel. Pour enough to get close to the top but not the very top, since you will need to close the jars.
Take clean lids and screw them on the jars.
Making sure not to burn yourself with a hot glass jar gently rotate and shake the jar to mix all the spices.
Let the pickle jars sit a while until it has cooled to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator and let cool. Now just wait a few days and you are ready to enjoy homemade apple cider dill pickles!
Variations of pickles you can make
Try plain pickles – cucumbers, vinegar, water, and salt
Pickled tomatoes instead of cucumbers – popular in Eastern Europe
Spice it up with hot peppers or red pepper flakes
Try adding a few tablespoons of cane sugar to the brine
Try other veggies such as cauliflower, carrots, or green beens
No apple cider vinegar, much more salt – try without boiling, although it has to be eaten much quicker since it wasn’t disinfected
Enjoy tasty homemade pickles with this simple recipe. It is highly customizable and you can experiment with your own pickle ingredients. Keeps for several weeks in the fridge.
- 2 pounds cucumbers
- 16 oz apple cider vinegar
- 16 oz water
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 4 tbsp Himalayan sea salt
- 4 tsp celery seeds
- 4 tsp whole black pepper (optional)
- 4 tsp ground mustard (optional)
- 2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
- 2 tsp paprika (optional)
- 1/2 pound banana peppers (optional)
- 1/2 pound tomatoes (optional)
Cut cucumbers into spears
Lay in 4 large mason jars with optional peppers and whole small tomatoes
Boil equal parts apple cider vinegar and water with salt to make pickle brine
If desired add mustard, turmeric, and paprika to brine
Add celery seeds to all jars and press garlic cloves equally over all jars. Also add chopped dill on top
Pour pickle brine equally in all jars to fill to top
Close jars and gently shake
Let sit for 30 minutes then place in refrigerator
Stored pickles keep for several weeks
See https://www.healthyalyona.com/how-to/homemade-apple-cider-dill-pickles/ for detailed instructions