These layered jars of Sunshine Dill pickles always get compliments when I have them out at picnics and summer gatherings. You can layer them anyway you like. Mine are made with cucs, onions and sweet peppers! I love the bright colors the peppers add, and we love to eat this almost like a relish……or some right out of the jar for a snack. You can surely add some heat to them by using hot peppers, if you like. I never have, but don’t know why you couldn’t, if you like the heat!
Also, you can use no peppers at all! However you slice ‘em (pun intended) you’re gonna love ‘em!
1. Wash your jars ( I put in the dishwasher so there sterilized with HOT water) First Tip: wide mouth jars work best for pickles 😊
2. Wash your produce and your dill leaves (fronds) and dill heads (if using).
3. Next, stir together the brine ingredients (see below). Then set brine pan aside, now it’s all ready for us, as soon as our jars are layered and filled with colorful goodness! 😊
Trust me, you’re gonna love ‘em!!!!!
And there not hard at all…..there Easy!
You can make just ONE jar (trust me you’ll wish you made more 😊) Or 3 jars or 8-9 jars at a time, which is usually what I do! That’s another great thing about these……make as many or as little as you have time for. And if you have any leftover brine, just save it in a jar, in the refrigerator, until next week, when ya gotta make more cuz you didn’t make enough like I told ya 😊. There your brine will be all ready and waiting for you!
So below: my jars, rings & lids are ready…….my pickles are sliced……..and my dill fronds are washed, Lets get YOUR pickles sliced and ready now!
4. Slice up the pickles which ever way you choose, slices, spears or whole….. And yep, I just slice up my onions and the mini-sweet peppers at the time too using my handy slicer!
I make quick work of this, by using either my mandolin or my small hand slicer! My Hand-Slicer is so handy because it lays flat, so it stores easily, right in a drawer close by.
Both these tools (below), I love. Got them years ago at Bed Bath Beyond, and I’ll find and put them in the resources for you below, if your looking to make this part of the prep super simple!
The black one is my standing Mandolin, easy to store also. The white one is my Hand slicer, stores flat & super handy! Both are adjustable to thick and thin slices.
5. Next we fill the jars! You simply layer “HALF” your pickle slices in the jars, then slices of garlic in, your fresh dill in, and onions in. Then repeat and layer the rest in the same way. (Which is…. however you want your layers to look 🙂 No right or wrong here !!! )
As you layer push down gently, but firmly pushing all the layers down, so things don’t float upward when you pour brine in, or you’ll end up with a 1 inch gap on the bottom of yours jars cuz things will float up later if not packed in some what tightly.
When I’m adding the sweet pepper slices, I am just adding 1-3 mini lil slices on the side of the jar and one on top, so upon opening it looks very pretty! But not to change the acidity by adding lots and lots of peppers to this. And everyone has there own opinion about sunshine pickles, and I respect ya there if you don’t do them….just respect me that for the last 25 yrs or more I do, and we love them! 🙂
Ok now jars are layered!
Next you pour the brine over all into the jar using a canning funnel. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Use a knife to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim very well so its clean, put on your hot lid and ring. And you’re almost done.
Set them in the sun for 24 – 48 hours, and then move to the refrigerator for storage.
You can Eat immediately or wait for a week or 2 and enjoy the deepened dilly crunch! These will last for months in your refrigerator and continue to get better with time 🙂 If you can keep them around that long.
You can also waterbath can these for long term shelf storage. Check your Ball canning book for correct water bath time for the size jars your filling. And it’s just that easy 😊
Enjoy these crunchy dilly pickles…… and let your kids help, they will love helping to make these. My girls always enjoyed filling the jars. It’s an easy recipe for kids to help with because the produce is not hot, so they can fill the jars and you can pour the brine!
P.S. ……Wondering what variety cucs I grow for Pickling?
My 2 favorite seed varieties of pickling cucs I grow are these 🙂
Boston Pickling and Sumter Cuc!
They have a sweet flesh taste, they are crunchy, their skin is not tough, they grow prolific with bowls and bowls for harvesting, and you’ll get over 4 weeks of continuous harvest from them. Tip 1: Keep your Cucs picked, or the vine signals to the plant to shut down! Tip 2: If pickles start to taste bitter, you let them go without water to long! Pickles cannot get dried out and will get a bitter taste if that happens, they need regular intervals of water. Tip 3: Pick your cucs young and tender, not Fat and Seedy! Everything is better young and tender, especially green and yellow beans, zucs, summer squashes as well as greens like chard and kale leaves 🙂.
These 2 seed varietys have been my 2 favorites that I’ve grown for over 17 years 🙂. Which ever one I can find is the one I grow that year. (I know I should be saving my own seed for these…well I probly soon will :))
Brine Recipe :
6 1/4 cups organic white vinegar
6 1/2 cups cold water (not soft water!)
2/3 cup salt (I use himalayan sea salt -fine ground)
Heat slightly, whisk well to dissolve salt.
Sunshine Pickles - small batch:
5 pint jar recipe
13 small sized pickle cucs -washed & sliced
1 med onion - sliced thin
2 mini-red bell sweet peppers (optional) - sliced thin
Then per Jar you need:
3 fronds of dill -per jar
2- 3 slices of garlic cloves -per jar
1/2 tsp dill seeds -add into ea. jar
2 dill heads or 2 more dill leaf fronds - add into ea. jar
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Organic Distilled White Vinegar, 64 fl oz at Whole Foods Market
Himalayan Crystal Salt, 1 lb
Cuisinart V-Blade Mandoline - CTG-00-VMAN
Ball 16oz 12pk Glass Wide Mouth Mason Jar with Lid and Band
Farmlyn Creek 36 Pack Regular Mouth Canning Lids and Rings for Mason Jars, 2.7 In, 72 Pieces
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving - by Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine (Hardcover)
All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving : Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and (Paperback)
To see more Recipes for Pickles and the story about my son-in-law who LOVES these pickles ….. go here!