Cathy is a food preserving expert and author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.
Here are many adages - pick one or all!
Soak your cucumbers in very cold ice water for one hour before trimming, brining and processing.
Add a - scrupulously clean and fresh - grape leaf or oak leaf to each jar. (This is a trick I learned from my great grandmother.)
Use alum, a naturally occurring mineral sold as a powder or in a chunk. I find it most frequently in Latin grocery stores or in the spice aisle of grocery stores out in the country.
In the boiling water canner, only bring the water up to the "shoulder" of the jar. This is not accepted best practice anymore, but it's what that same great grandmother showed me.
Use only very fresh cucumbers. Pickle the cucumber the same day it's picked.
Always remove the blossom end of the cucumber. If you don't know which is which, remove both ends. The blossom end will make your pickles soggy.
P.S You add the alum to the ice water bath.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
My parents always added a grape leaf to pickles to help keep them crunchy.
Adding a few mustard seeds to each jar also helps to keep them crunchy.
If you are looking to home can pickles and get the "crunch" that is advertised with a Vlassic....you wont be able to BUT you can mkae some great home canned pickles.
Type in your SEARCH engine the words: State University Extension and Canning pickles
You will get some great tested recipes to try. You can either store in the refrigerato and get them up after they have fermented OR after they have fermented you can Boiling Water Bath them so that they can be stored on the shelf. ENJOY
I can only speak to bread and butter pickles, which I can yearly. My recipe calls for letting the pickle slices sit in salt and ice cubes for three hours before draining and continuing on with the recipe. They are incredibly chrunchy...better than store bought. Yum.
Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.
I have only made cold pickles- the ones where you cover them in cold brine and keep them refrigerated, instead of cooking them. They always come out crisp and crunchy.
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