cucumbers | dill | jewish | pickles | pickling | preserved foods | quick & easy | recipe | savory | seasonal | snacks | vegan | vegetables

Kosher dills, TAKE TWO!

July 8, 2013

Retro 1957 Heinz Kosher dill pickle ad.

Uhm, I beg to differ, Heinz. ‘Cause these pickles right here are quite the sensation round my way.

You might remember, if you’re a longtime reader, the Kosher dill pickles I made a few years ago from a recipe by Arthur Schwartz (I guess you realize right about now that “take two” means this is my second time making them, not that I want you to take two of them. Heh.).

I made them the first time two summers ago while Jay was away on tour, and when he came home he flipped. He totally loved them, was obsessed in fact. And yes, he said they were his “favorite pickles” (until he tasted the grilled pickles, the hop pickles, the maple whiskey pickles…etc, etc). I tease him about that a lot. But I do know that despite the fact that he might love all kinds of pickles, Kosher dills are his absolute favorite. The less vinegar, the better. No vinegar at all? Perfect!

Arthur Schwartz's Kosher dill recipe.

They taste just like a deli pickle, apparently. Super crunchy & half-sour, like a “new” dill. He’s been asking me to make them again ever since, & I’ve slacked off.

Yeah, I’m horrible. But he’ll get over it- he gets a lot of treats.

So anyway here’s version two of Arthur’s recipe, adapted for a smaller scale (yields 1 quart as opposed to 3). Pro tip: Make sure you get cucumbers that are all the same size & shape, roughly. They’ll ferment at the same time more than a variety of sizes would. Unless you’re going to cut them into slices or “chips”, that is.

Kosher dill pickle recipe, 3-6 days to ferment.

How to make Kosher dill pickles at home! NO CANNING NEEDED!

This recipe makes some beautiful pickles.

ARTHUR SCHWARTZ’S HOMEMADE KOSHER DILL* PICKLES (Adapted by David Leibovitz from Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking)

Makes 1 quart or 2 pints, can be doubled or tripled

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse white salt (Kosher, if available)
  • 5-7 Kirby cucumbers, scrubbed
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly-crushed
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil with the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining water.
  2. Prepare jars (1 quart or 2 pint jars, preferably wide mouth) by running them through the dishwasher or filling them with boiling water, then dumping it out.
  3. Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure they’re tightly-packed. As you fill the jars, divide the garlic, spices, bay leaves, and dill amongst them. You can also slice the cukes into spears or slices, whatever you prefer.
  4. Fill the jars with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Cover the jars with cheesecloth, secured with rubber bands, or loosely with the lids. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days. You’ll probably have leftover brine, so either make another batch or just toss it… yes it’s a little wasteful, but it’s just saltwater!
  5. After 3 days, taste one. The pickles can ferment from 3 to 6 days. The longer the fermentation, the more sour they’ll become, however whole cucumbers that aren’t sliced at all might take longer in general. Once the pickles are to your liking, refrigerate them.

Easy Kosher dill pickle recipe- no canning required.

*Just to clear this Kosher thing up:

A “kosher” dill pickle is not necessarily kosher in the sense that it has been prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law. Rather, it is a pickle made in the traditional manner of Jewish New York City pickle makers, with generous addition of garlic and dill to a natural salt brine.[3][4][5]

In New York terminology, a “full-sour” kosher dill is one that has fully fermented, while a “half-sour,” given a shorter stay in the brine, is still crisp and bright green.[6]Elsewhere, these pickles may sometimes be termed “old” and “new” dills.

Dill pickles (not necessarily described as “kosher”) have been served in New York City since at least 1899.[7] They are not, however, native to New York; they have been prepared in Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Poland for hundreds of years.[citation needed]

So these are kind of a cross between a refrigerator pickle, a fermented pickle & a shelf-stable pickle, seeing as how you end up refrigerating them & not processing them, yet they do in fact sit out for a while to “ferment.” They’re incredibly easy to make, and they really don’t have any of the somewhat “scary” elements of fermentation/lacto-fermentation (no yeast forms, there’s no mold skimming, etc). It’s sort of an intro to refrigerator pickles, canning & fermenting all at once.

I do prefer to make these kinds of pickles one jar at a time, just because I run out of room & places to hide them during their 3-6 day fermentation period. It has to be a relatively cool, dark area… and there are only so many of those during the summer months. Plus, that cuts down on the amount of “NO NO NO! DON’T EAT THOSE YET!” moments. Which, in a house like mine, there are many. There are jars of things brewing, freezing or sitting just about everywhere; sourdough starters, cold brewed coffee, bacon fat, flax seed, spent grain, fermenting pickles… all of these things somewhere, whether in the fridge, freezer or counter.

Arthur Schwartz's easy Kosher dill pickle recipe.

They will get cloudy after a day or two, that’s perfectly normal. And yes, I recommend wide mouth jars for this particular recipe. Especially if you’re making whole pickles, not sliced. AND DO NOT USE LARGE WAXED CUCUMBERS FOR THIS. It just will not work well. The wax prevents anything from penetrating the cucumber, and even if you slice them the skin will still be waxy & weird. You can quadruple this recipe and make one gallon as well, if you enjoy pickles that much. I actually just invested in some half-gallon Ball® jars (mainly for making cold brewed & sun tea) & I also noticed that my dill is growing like crazy… so perhaps Jay has a full half-gallon of Kosher dills in his future!

I don’t know how often I have to keep saying this, but: ANYONE can make these! They’re insanely simple! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t try making them.

Unless you don’t like pickles. In which case, can I interest you in a cake?

PSST... SHARE THIS:
Facebook Twitter Email

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Dill pickles with no vinegar at all?? This may have to happen as soon as possible. And then we may have to have a week of deli sandwiches with pickles on the side…

  2. I was shocked too… at first… but then I realized that the real, authentic Kosher dills never used vinegar. And let me tell you- Jay LOVED them so much I’ve been aggravated about them ever since last summer. And he’s a pickle aficionado. He can tell you what diners have the “good” pickles, what ones don’t, etc. So they really must be amazing. I don’t like pickles though… so… 🙁

  3. I noticed in your blog you talked about freezing pickles. Can these Kosher dill Pickles be frozen after their done fermenting? If so does it change the texture?

  4. Shellie: I never talk about freezing pickles- there’s no such thing. Freezer jam, yes. Freezer pickles, no. The very nature of pickles is that they’re fermented or pickled in order to preserve the cucumbers (or whatever other fresh vegetables you use). If you mean “fridge pickles” that’s a term people use when they mean that the pickles are not processed in a water bath & are not shelf-stable, but instead are a “quick pickle” made for refigerator storage. But otherwise, no, pickles can’t be frozen.

  5. Since I’ve had three requests to make them again within a two day span, and you’re the only one I’ve heard this from, I’m gonna say you probably did something wrong. But hey- not my circus, not my monkeys.

    And not my recipe 🙂 I guess to each his own.

  6. I’m so excited to make these! Being a first timer, could you explain a bit about the cucumbers? The only ones I see are at the supermarket and are the typical waxy ones. Being late Sept. living in Northern California, what kinds of places carry the proper cucumbers?? Thank you, Karen

  7. Hi Karen! Are you sure your supermarket doesn’t carry the smaller, fat cucumbers called “Kirbys”? Usually at the supermarket, I have three to choose from: the long, waxy ones… Kirby’s… and Persian cucumbers. Ask someone who works there next time, I bet they have them.

    I don’t know of where else to tell you to get them, other than a farmer’s market. My cucumbers are still growing and I’m in NY so in California there should be fresh cukes still!

  8. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which
    blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a
    good platform.

  9. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of
    area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this
    web site. Studying this information So i’m glad to show that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I most without a doubt will make sure to do not disregard this website
    and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  10. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it
    helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and
    aid others like you aided me.

  11. Hello there, I discovered your site by the use of Google even as
    searching for a comparable subject, your web site came up, it
    appears to be like great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hi there, simply was aware of your weblog via Google,
    and found that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
    I’ll be grateful when you continue this in future.
    Numerous other folks will be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  12. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site.
    You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some content for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.
    Kudos!

  13. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve truly
    read something like that before. So wonderful to find
    somebody with unique thoughts on this topic. Really..
    many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the
    web, someone with a little originality!

  14. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  15. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a
    amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we communicate?

  16. Currently it sounds like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  17. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it
    up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to
    come back down the road. Many thanks

Comments are closed.