Sunday, August 9, 2015

Grandma's Sweet Apple Dill Pickles

For those of us of a certain age, homemade pickles sat on every table for every Sunday dinner or holiday. The pickles started with fresh cucumbers picked that same day, with maybe a little onion, celery or hot chili pepper thrown in for extra flavor. Taking a riff from pickles my grandmother, Virginia Stapleton, used to make, and a riff from Gypsy Wilburn's memories of Aunt Irene's bread and butter pickles. We came up with these festive, flavorful, sweet dill pickle slices.

Cucumbers were six for a dollar this week at Food City, so I picked out the six biggest, freshest ones I could find, total weight almost twelve pounds. Food City also had Red Delicious apples on sale at four pounds for a dollar, so I bought eight pounds. This recipe uses eight pounds of crinkle-sliced cucumbers and two pounds of crinkle-sliced apples.

8 lbs. cucumbers, partially peeled, crinkle-sliced
2 lbs. Red Delicious or Gala apples, crinkle sliced (do not peel)
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C dried dill
1 T sea salt
3 T onion powder
3 T garlic powder
4 cups apple cider vinegar
Large mixing bowl
1-gallon clear plastic container with screw-top lid

Toss the cucumbers, apples, dill, salt, brown sugar and spices together in a large mixing bowl until evenly coated with the spices. Pour the apple cider vinegar over everything in the bowl, stir and allow everything to marinate for 10 minutes.

Transfer the marinated cucumber and apple slices to the one-gallon plastic container. Pour the marinade over everything. Fill the container the rest of the way with cold water, until it just barely covers the fruit and vegetable slices. Screw the lid on tight, invert the jar and shake to ensure that the water and the pickling marinade are evenly mixed. Place in the refrigerator on the lowest shelf. Allow the pickles to rest for two to four days before eating them.

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