Friday, August 5, 2011

Claussen Knock-Off Pickles

Claussen Knock-Off Pickles
very slightly adapted from Rebecca


35 to 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers
8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
4 fresh dill heads OR 4 tablespoons dried dill seed (*not dill weed*)
1 gallon cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
2/3 cup canning or kosher salt


1. Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.

2. Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise or into quarters, depending on how large your cucumbers are and how big you want them to be when they're done.

3. In a gallon jar, layer the dill heads or seed, garlic cloves and sliced cucumbers.

4. In a separate pitcher or bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt is dissolved.

5. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, taking care to make sure all of them are fully submerged.

6. Cover lightly with a lid just perched on top or secure a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep fruit flies away.

7. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for two to four days, or until the cucumbers taste like pickles throughout. If at any point "fuzz" or "foam" develops on top of the brine, use a spoon to remove it. If there is "fuzz" attached to any of the cucumbers, remove the ones affected and be sure the others are still fully submerged.

8. When the pickles are ready, fix your lid tightly onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.


I love pickles. Any kind of pickles. Even the neon green store bought pickles. I was worried I would never be able to make homemade pickles that were crunchy, but Rebecca proved me wrong.

These are crunchy, garlicky and perfect as a late afternoon snack, especially in this hot weather. I ate a whole jar myself the first day they were ready, they are THAT good - AND they take no virtually time or effort.

Cooking notes: Best in a large jar, but if you're like me and are scaling the recipe and storing in smaller jars, you may have to cut a bit more off the ends of the pickles so that they will be submerged fully when you pour in the brine. If they have any pieces sticking out, they will develop fuzz and you'll have to throw them away (lesson learned!).

Also, if you do scale down for smaller storage, split the pickling spice evenly among the jars and then mix just the water, vinegar and salt and pour that over each jar. It's not really possible to smoothly distribute the pickling spice among numerous jars once the seeds have sunk to the bottom of the pitcher (second lesson learned!).


Chryssy said...

YAY!!!!!!! I'm so gonna try this. About how many jars would I need for the whole recipe posted?

Chryssy said...

And to leave the lids on loosely, so air can get in the jars? THANKS

Melissa said...

Chryssy, you leave them on loosely while the pickles are undergoing their transformation on the counter. If you seal the jar tightly, gases can build up and explode the jar. Once the pickles are... well, pickles... you can screw the lid on tightly and put it in the refrigerator, where the gas issue should then be fine, as long as you're regularly using the contents. Trust me, that won't be a problem. They disappear quickly. ;)

Julia said...

I'm just about to make pickles today... I make something very similar. Last year I tried canning them (in the water bath so that I could store them in the pantry) but they came out so mushy I had to throw them away. Will try again this year. But I'll also make a batch just to keep in the 'fridge, just to be sure :)

Melissa said...

Julia, I hope they come out better. I was so afraid of making mushy pickles - these Claussen-style ones are all I need.

Chryssy said...

Thanks Meli. I've been looking for the pickling/mason jars this week and can't find any though. ARG! But I'm still looking and want to make these asap!

SweetMommaK said...

OMGosh, I've always wanted to try making pickles but was scared they wouldn't turn out. These sound SO yummy!! Thanks Melissa! Now, if I can just find the time...;)

Anonymous said...

"Mixed Pickling Spices"? Is there a container labeled like this at the grocery store? How many and what size smaller jars do we need? Thank you, I love Claussen for the spice and the crunch!

Anonymous said...

Also, if there is a container of "Mixed Pickling Spices", does anyone know which brand is closest to Claussen's? - The other Julia

Melissa said...

Hi! You should be able to find pickling spice fairly easily. McCormick makes a blend, so maybe try scoping out their section in the spice aisle.

If you can't find a premade blend, and want to make your own, try starting here:

Sheryl said...

Just tasted my first pickle from this recipe. It was delicious! It is so close to clausen! I am going to use this same recipe to pickle green tomatoes, carrots and cauliflower and maybe throw in a hot pepper! I will also try the hot bath. Hopefully they won't be mushy!

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know, Sheryl. Glad to hear about your success with these! :)