"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Canning: Manang's Hot Dill Pickles

Hot dill pickles
This is my variation to the dill pickles that I learned from my MIL.  I changed her basic recipe since I found it too salty for my taste after several months of curing.  I was hesitant to change the ratio of salt to water initially because I was afraid it might lessen the preserving effect. However, last summer, I was quite adventurous, and I bought several book as well on canning. Basing on the recipe of a reliable author in her book The Joy of Pickling, I tried to lessen the salt so that my final ratio was somewhere between my MIL's dill pickles and that author's dill pickles (I was tasting as I was adding salt and kept notes). Then after I was satisfied with the saltiness of the first batch of plain dill pickles, I thought I would try adding crushed red pepper flakes to make them hot. The result was very good, that my husband would always say something like "Delisyoso!" or "If you decide to sell these, guys would like them!"  I have been leaving a quart of these and the bread and butters  in the employees' fridge and my co-workers have been telling me, "You should start selling your pickles." Some even say, "I don't even like the ones in the grocery stores, but your pickles are sooo good.!" or, "I'd gladly pay $10 for a quart of your pickles. They are that good!"

So, if I have readers here who have gardens or have access to fresh cucumbers, you might consider making these and selling them. One thing for sure, this is something not only Filipinos would love, but also Americans who miss the pickles "just like how grandma made them."  The market is definitely there.


Note: I used photos from my old dill pickle post here to illustrate the steps.

On the day of harvesting the cucumbers, wash thoroughly with cold water, remove stems and any part of the peel that looks bad/browned.

Wash jars, lids, and bands with warm soapy water. Rinse well and sterilize in boiling water or steam at least 180 deg F for 30 minutes. Boil water and pour onto the lids and bands until needed.

Start boiling water in the boiling water canner half-filled with water.

In each quart jar, place 8-10 cucumbers (each should be 4- to 6-inches long), 4 garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons dill seeds, 1 tsp (for mild) to 1 tbsp (for medium) crushed red pepper flakes.
Place cukes and spices in jars
For the brine, use 2 qt water: 1 qt cider vinegar (5% acidity) : 1/2 cup canning salt.

To prepare brine, mix 2 qts water and 1 qt vinegar . Boil. Add 1/2 cup canning salt, mix to dissolve. (Increase the proportion according to the number of quarts that you have filled with cucumbers. ) Pour into the jars immediately.
Pour hot brine
Using a non-metallic spatula or a bubbler, remove bubbles by gently poking into the inside of the jars. Wipe the rim with a clean damp cloth or a paper towel to remove seeds or anything that might interfere with sealing.
Release bubbles
Lids and screw bands should be submerged in boiling water (not boiled, for it will damage the sealing compound, resulting to poor seal). Pick up with a clamp or magnetic picker whose tip/s were/was also submerged in the boiling water prior to using. To minimize contamination, refrain from touching the side of the lid that will touch the contents of the jar.
Leave 1/2 inch headspace; wipe rims
Close the jars fingertip tight then load onto the canning rack.
Load into rack
Lower them into the hot water. If water tends to overflow, remove some. Leave enough to cover the jars up to 1 inch above the lids. Turn heat to high and cautiously watch until the water gains enough heat to the point just before boiling (If it boils, lower the heat immediately) then start timing 15 minutes. Never allow to boil as this will COOK the pickles and will result to mushy, not crunchy, pickles.
Lower to BWCanner
Cover the boiling water canner, and process on easy simmer (do not boil) for 15 minutes.
Process for 15 mins
While processing the cans, have a dry towel ready on the countertop near the stove. Close all windows and doors to avoid drafts (the sudden rush of cold air might crack the hot jars. Then after processing for 15 minutes, one by one, carefully lift the jars (with a jar lifter especially designed for canning) out of the rack without banging them with one another (this might crack the jars as well). Place on top of the dry towel. Leave at least 1-inch space in-between the jars. Then when all the jars are out, cover with another towel. These towel will provide cushion for the hot jars not to crack when you place them on the countertop, and will also act as "windbreaker" in case there is a draft. You may now open your doors and windows. LEAVE THESE JARS ALONE FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS before peeping under the towel, and preferably let them cool for at least 12 hours before moving them. You will hear the popping of the lids, which is a sign of good seal. If within 12 hours one or more of the jars did not seal, you may process them again or place in the fridge and consume them first within two weeks.
Cover with towel
Those jars that sealed properly should be stored in a dark, cool place. Let the pickles cure for at least 2 weeks to enjoy the flavor. The taste is superb by the end of one month. Once opened, the jar should be kept in the fridge until fully consumed. Pickles are best consumed within one year from canning date.

1 comment:

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