Claussen Style Pickles with Hickory House Option
pickling cucumbers or small slicing cucumbers
fresh dill OR dried dill seed and dill weed
hot pepper flakes
carrots OR sugar
Select fresh, evenly colored cucumbers. Slice if desired. Wash and pack in sterilized quart jars. Place several sprays of dill on top of cucumbers. (use 1/2 Tablespoon dill weed and dill seed if not using fresh)
To each quart, add 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp mustard seed, 6 whole peppercorns, 1/8 tsp powdered allspice, 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes and either one whole sliced carrot or 1/4 tsp sugar and Pickle Crisp as per the package instructions (I doubled all of these since I used 1/2 gallon jars).
Heat 1 quart distilled water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 Tbsp fine kosher or canning salt to boiling
Cool brine, pour over cucumbers to within 1/4 inch of top. Seal. Refrigerate. This liquid may become cloudy in a few days but will soon clear. The pickles will be firm, crisp and evenly colored.
Now, for the ‘Hickory House’ version (sweet and spicy!):
Use the above recipe, but:
Increase sugar to 1 cup and add to the brine.
Increase garlic in each quart to 2 large cloves each, chopped.
Increase pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon per quart.