Use these tips with our pickle recipe.
Last year at a party a friend told me that the grape leaves growing in the garden could be used to keep my homemade pickles crisp. We have Concord grapes growing and I have been using a small leave or portion of a larger one since. Results have been excellent.
Other things to consider:
- The cucumbers should be perfectly fresh and unblemished, just as with any other preserves you might make.
- Trim off the blossom end of the cucumber. This can have microbes that will give you soft and meh, whatever, pickles.
- Use the appropriate type of cucumber, making sure they are not more than 2″ in diameter. In general, pickles are better and crisper when they are smaller.
- Salt the cucumbers after washing them and before putting them into the jars. This will draw out excess moisture. Rinse and drain them before putting them into the jars.
- Make certain that your immersion bath (canning water) is boiling and your pickling liquid is hot when you add the liquid to the jars, immediately before putting them into the bath. These two things will minimize the amount of time required for the bath to come to a boil again and reduce the overall time your pickles need to be processed. (Processing time is counted from the beginning of a rolling boil, not from the moment the jars hit the water).