sour dill pickles

Since my visit to Montreal, I’ve been left with a deep, deep hankering for pickles. Not just the commercial dills that you can buy at any supermarket, but the salty, pucker-inducing bite of a Jewish deli sour. While my husband preferred the half-sour to go with his smoked meat sandwich, I’m all about the full sour. Bring it on! So as I savored the last bite of the Schwartz’s Deli pickle that had made it’s way into my carry-on, I had an idea to try making my own.

So this weekend I made pickles. While you might picture me slaving over a hot canning bath, I didn’t. With these pickles, fermentation rules instead of heat and vinegar. The best part? They only took me about 15 or 20 minutes to make. Talk about a quickle! I haven’t tried them yet (I feel they haven’t reached full sour capability), but the recipe I used is from David Lebovitz so I’m sure I won’t be steered wrong. Though, I’m afraid I did lean a bit too heavy on the pickling spices – let’s hope that won’t ruin them!

UPDATE: So I finally tasted the pickles and while they taste good, the cut pickles were too soft. The pickles that I left whole were very crunchy and perfect. Perhaps the cut pickles should be eaten sooner and maybe only pickled for only 2-3 days instead of 5? If you’ve got any ideas, let me know!

And if pickles aren’t to your liking, I’m a new contributor over at the popular design blog, Poppytalk and I’ve got a pretty tasty granola recipe up. Go take a peek and say hello!

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28 comments to “sour dill pickles”

  1. 1
    emvandee   September 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I like the idea of this, but do you know how heat would affect these if they were to be canned? I can only eat so many pickles at a time, and find that I often want them in January :)

  2. 2
    Bijoux   September 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Your sour dill pickles sound great!!

    I have made quick pickles before using your "red hot cinnamon heart quick pickles" approach w/o the cinnamon heart candies as I had none on hand, and they turned out impressively good!!

    You must have eaten at Schwartz's Deli while in Montreal, right? If yes, I can totally understand your pickle fixation…mmm!

  3. 3
    PonderandStitch   September 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Mmmm, I am going to try this!! I love pickles but canning seems so intimidating. I think, though, that maybe I can do it!

  4. 4
    jan   September 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Fun to have you with us Jeannette! I vote full sour too!

  5. 5
    hag   September 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Homemade pickles…perfect! I wasn't til I was in Montreal earlier this year….and went to Schwartz's [ smoked meat sandwich, fries, pickle and cherry cola ] that my love of pickles was reignited. I agree, that the other Canadian city I would consider moving to is Montreal. The Jean Talon market alone….

  6. 6
    amelia   September 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    oh, i'm totally going to try this. thanks!

  7. 7
    eatme_delicious   September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Haha love the word quickle! I tend towards the less sour pickles. I used to only like the bread and butter ones.

  8. 8
    Dana   September 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I love love love pickles. Every time I go to NYC I have to go to one of the big delis just so I can eat pickles to my heart's content. I have never made them myself and with all the great cucumbers at the markets, I think it's time to try. Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. 9
    Jennifer   September 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    My mouth is watering simply from the sight of these pickles. Yummmm…

  10. 10
    stephchows   September 11, 2009 at 8:06 am

    mmmmmm big deli style pickles are my favorite!

  11. 11
    CookiePie   September 11, 2009 at 10:38 am

    How fantastic!!! They look great!

  12. 12
    nora@ffr   September 13, 2009 at 12:33 am

    love the idea!! i shud try this way sometime sooner!! cheers!

  13. 13
    Don   September 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I just did a bit about pickling on our blog. We did green tomato chow-chow and sun pickles. Neither required cooking.

    Our son got wind of the activity and found a book that has recipes like yours (sans vinegar).

    Maybe we should book a group flight to Korea or Russia for pickled everything!

  14. 14
    Helene   September 13, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Oh my will be so nice to eat these in a few months. You did so well. I love any kind of pickles.

  15. 15
    Dawn   September 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I get those cravings for pickles (the good ones) all the time in summer. Is it the salt or vinegar we crave?
    I love love love the photos.

  16. 16
    The Leftoverist   September 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Look how brightly and sourly they sit there! Beautiful photos. I love pickles, too…all kinds.

  17. 17
    lyndsay   September 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    oh yes!! how i love pickles…! a friend of mine gave me a lovely homemade jar for my birthday a few years ago, it also had a slight curry taste to it– they were so good and garlicky and sour with that hint of curry…!

  18. 18
    Cookie baker Lynn   September 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Snaps to you for making your own pickles! That's such a happy picture of the jars full of cuke slices. I haven't made pickles in years, but I love the idea of quick and easy.

  19. 19
    kimberleyblue   September 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Great recipe, thanks for posting! I too love the super sour pickles, and have always thought I’d have to go to all the trouble of sterilizing the jars…this makes things so much easier. I’ll have to give them a try! Please let us know how they end up.

  20. 20
    Aimée   September 16, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Kudos for making pickles! I'm glad my fair city made such a lasting impression on you. Please visit again soon!

  21. 21
    lisaiscooking   September 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Pickles have to be sour for me, and these sound great! Can't wait to hear how they taste.

  22. 22
    kickpleat   September 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Emvandee, I'm sure they'd be fine canned with heat! try it.

    Bijoux, yes on Schwartz's!

    Ponderandstitch, try it, it's easier than you think.

    Thanks Jan, great to be posting on Poppytalk!

    Hag, damn, I never had the cherry cola!!

    Let me know how it goes Amelia.

    I like sweet ones too, eatme!

    Dana, nice to find another pickle lover :)

    Thanks Jennifer!

    Steph, me too.

    Thanks CookiePie.

    Sounds awesome Don, I'll check 'em out!

    Yes, please do, nora!

    Helene, why wait? These are ready in just a couple of days.

    Kimberley, they were pretty good, but not as sour as I like my pickles to be! The cut ones were softer but the whole pickles remained very crisp.

    Dawn, I'll take both!

    Thanks, Leftoverist!

    Curry pickles? Lyndsay, now I'm craving those!

    Lynn, who doesn't?

    Aimee, I LOVED Montreal. You are very very lucky.

    Lisa, I'll edit these with my comments.

    Thumba, the whole pickles were very crunchy. The cut ones, not so much.

  23. 23
    thumba   September 18, 2009 at 11:44 am

    i pickle veggies all the time, but everytime i try to pickle a cucumber (yes i'm using pickling cucumbers) they lack that "crunch" factor that i'm so longing for. did these come out???

  24. 24
    Eric   September 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Nice pictures and a good recipe, too. I think live-fermented pickles taste a lot better than cukes cured in vinegar and canned.

    For extra crunchiness, have you tried adding fresh grape leaves to your pickles? Supposedly they keep the cucumbers crisp, and so far it's worked for me. I have some from a big batch that have been in the fridge for at least a month now and they're still crunchy.

    You should make some sauerkraut! Check out the recipe on my site…

  25. 25
    Stacey   September 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

    are the peppercorns sprinkled on at the end before you put the cheesecloth on? They look yummy!

  26. 26
    kickpleat   September 29, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Eric, I've heard that, though I don't know where I can find grape leaves!

    Stacey, the spices are added into the jars along with the pickles and then the brine is poured over top.

  27. 27
    Dianna   June 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I wanted to make sour dill pickle slices. Do you think the slices will be too mushy or soft with this recipe? Would fresh grape leaves make the slices crisp? And yes, I am a total novice…never had pickled anything!

  28. 28
    kickpleat   June 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Dianna, I’m afraid that the slices might be too soft. I’ve heard that grape leaves do leave pickles crisper so you can try that. Or look for a recipe that is made for pickle slices. Good luck!! If it doesn’t work, try again! I know I’ll try again with a different recipe.

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