Linda J. Amendt

Award-Winning Cookbook Author

Blue Ribbon Baking
Blue Ribbon Canning


Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies



Recipe Collection


Cranberry Orange Pockets

Pineapple Coconut Crumb Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

Raspberry Streusel Squares

Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies

Plum Cherry Jam

Apricot Amaretto Jam

Blueberry Pie Preserves

Rosemary Vinegar

Baby Beet Pickles

Crunchy Dill Pickles

Kosher Dill Pickles

Cookbooks

Baking
New Cookbook! Blue Ribbon Baking presents 200 of award-winning baker Linda Amendt's best prize-winning baking recipes. (288 pages)
Blue ribbon baking authority Linda J. Amendt presents a wonderful collection of 400 recipes for all manner of delectable flavor-packed cookies, bars and squares. (576 pages)
Canning
New Cookbook! Over 140 blue ribbon recipes from state and county fair award-winning canners across the country, with personal profiles, canning techniques, and blue ribbon canning tips. (272 pages)
Home canning expert and top fair competitor Linda J. Amendt shares her secrets to succesful home canning. (368 pages)
An exciting collection of new flavor-packed soft spread recipes with detailed canning instruction chapters. (304 pages)
Gluten-Free
Over 125 delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes brings the joy of breakfast back to the gluten-free table with satisfying dishes to please the entire family.

Recipes

The following recipes are copyrighted by the author, Linda J. Amendt, and are posted here for the personal use of visitors to this site. They may not be reproduced, distributed, or posted to other websites or bulletin boards, duplicated, published, or used in any other manner, without the written permission of the author.


Please enjoy this selection of Linda J. Amendt's delicious recipes from her cookbooks and special contest winners




Cranberry Orange Pockets

Best Cookies of 2012 - Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off

I created this blue ribbon cookie recipe several years ago when I was competing in state and county fair baked goods contests and it has become a holiday favorite. One of my all-time favorite cookies, these tasty treats disappear so fast that I usually make a double batch. They are frequently requested by friends and are the first treats to vanish from my Christmas cookie gift trays.
     A tender cream cheese cookie dough hides a delightful cranberry and orange filling. Impressive and pretty in appearance, these delicious cookies are perfect for holidays, special occasions, and everyday treats. They look complicated, but are easy to prepare and make a fun family cookie-baking activity.


Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/​2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/​2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/​3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/​2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
1/​4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing
3/​4 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/​2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/​4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line two large flat cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cookies: In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and vanilla extract. On low speed, gradually stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until blended.

4. Gather the dough together and divide into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a flat square and tightly wrap each square in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured pastry board or other flat surface, unwrap one dough square and roll out into a 12-inch by 8-inch rectangle of uniform thickness. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 24 2-inch squares. Carefully transfer the squares to the prepared cookie sheets, placing 1 to 2 inches apart. Roll out the second dough square and cut into 24 2-inch squares. Set aside.

6. Filling: In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and orange zest until well blended. Stir in the orange zest and dried cranberries. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly combined. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the center of each square on the cookie sheets. Top with the remaining squares and press the edges together with the tines of a fork to seal.

7. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Immediately slide the parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes, then transfer from the parchment paper to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Icing: In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Stir until the icing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle from a spoon. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies.

Makes 24 cookies





Pineapple Coconut Crumb Muffins

Grand Prize Winner - Mimi's Meaningful Muffin Search Contest

The wonderful combination of pineapple and coconut create a delightful taste sensation in these tender tropical muffins. Crowned with a coconut and macadamia nut crumb topping, these flavor-packed gems inspire pleasant thoughts of dazzling sun-drenched beaches and gentle trade winds. For a South Seas piña colada flair, substitute rum extract for the almond extract.

Crumb Topping
1/​2 cup all-purpose flour
1/​2 cup granulated sugar
1/​3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, chopped
1/​4 cup finely chopped roasted unsalted macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Muffin Batter
1 3/​4 cups all-purpose flour
2/​3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/​2 teaspoon salt
2/​3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, chopped
2 large eggs
2/​3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/​2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/​2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup drained unsweetened crushed pineapple

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a 12-cup regular muffin pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, coconut and macadamia nuts. Whisk together until well blended. Using a fork or clean fingers, work in the butter until evenly combined and mixture resembles coarse crumbs and starts to come together.

4. Muffins: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until well blended. Stir in the coconut.

5. In another bowl, using a wire whisk lightly beat the eggs. Gradually whisk in the oil until well blended. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in the pineapple. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups 2/​3 full. Crumble the topping over top of the batter.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 regular muffins






Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These slightly spicy, soft, chewy, cake-like cookies are a perfect fall treat.

Cookies
2-1/​2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/​2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/​4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/​4 teaspoon baking soda
1/​4 teaspoon salt
1/​2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/​4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/​2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pureed pumpkin
1 cup chopped pecans

Icing
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream or milk
1/​2 teaspoon maple flavoring

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cookies: In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add pumpkin and stir until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. On low speed or using a wooden spoon, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until blended. By hand, fold in pecans.

4. Using a cookie scoop or spoons, drop tablespoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges start to turn lightly golden.

5. Immediately slide parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack. Cool cookies for 5 minutes, then transfer from parchment paper to cooling rack and cool completely.

6. Icing: In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cream and maple flavoring. Using a small whisk or a fork, blend until icing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle from a fork. Add more cream as needed to achieve the right consistency. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Tip: Let icing set before storing cookies between layers of waxed paper in a tightly sealed container.. If cookies will be frozen, do not ice them. The icing should be added after the frozen cookies are completely defrosted.





Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

There is something very special about blending the flavors of oats, brown sugar, maple and walnuts.

1-1/​2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/​2 teaspoon baking soda
1/​4 teaspoon salt
3/​4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/​3 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/​2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
2-1/​2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and maple flavoring. Scrape down sides of bowl. On low speed or using a wooden spoon, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until blended. Gradually stir in oats. By hand, fold in walnuts.

4. Using a cookie scoop or spoons, drop tablespoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges start to turn lightly golden.

5. Immediately slide parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack. Cool cookies for 5 minutes, then transfer from parchment paper to cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes about 3-1/​2 dozen cookies

Tip: Toasting nuts brings out their flavor and makes them crunchy.

Variation: Substitute chopped pecans for chopped walnuts





Raspberry Streusel Squares

A tender crust with almonds, raspberry filling and a crumbly streusel topping combine to make great squares. This is one of my favorite cookies.

Crust
1-1/​2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/​8 teaspoon baking powder
1/​4 cup finely chopped roasted unsalted almonds
2/​3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling
1 cup seedless raspberry jam

Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/​3 cup granulated sugar
1/​4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/​3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Icing
3/​4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream or milk
1/​8 teaspoon pure almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with foil, then grease.

2. Crust: In a bowl, whisk together flour, confectioner’s sugar and baking powder until well combined. Stir in almonds. Using a pastry blender, fork or your fingers, cut in butter until evenly combined. Mixture will resemble coarse crumbs and start to come together. Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, press crust evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

3. Filling: Stir raspberry jam to loosen it. Spread jam evenly over crust.

4. Topping: In a small bowl, whisk together flour and granulated sugar until well blended. Stir in almond extract. Using a fork or your fingers, work in butter until evenly combined. Mixture will resemble coarse crumbs and start to come together. Crumble topping over jam.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 24 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool completely in baking pan on a wire rack.

6. Icing: In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cream and almond extract. Using a small whisk or a fork, blend until icing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle from a fork. Add more cream as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Drizzle icing over cooled squares. Let stand 20 minutes or until the icing is set.

7. Using foil, lift squares from pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into 1-1/​2-inch squares.

Makes 36 squares

Tip: For a pretty appearance, cut cookies into diamond or triangle shapes.





Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies

These delicious brownies made with lots of cocoa powder are so good that I could eat the whole pan. Not that I have, but I bet I could! Just don’t leave me alone in the room with the unguarded pan. I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to make these brownies. It is my go-to cocoa powder when I want to bake something with a really rich, super chocolaty flavor.

1 3/​4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/​4 cups unsweetened Special Dark or Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1/​2 teaspoon baking powder
1/​2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1 1/​2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/​3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Position the oven rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a 13-by 9-inch metal baking pan with foil, then grease with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, lightly beat the eggs. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the eggs and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the vegetable oil and beat until well combined. Stir in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually stir in the flour mixture, beating just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

6. Unfold the foil extensions and use them to carefully lift the cooled brownies from pan and place on a cutting board. Fold down the foil and cut into approximately 2- by 2 1/​4-inch brownies.

Makes about 30 brownies





Plum Cherry Jam

A great favorite with family and friends alike, this intoxicating jam disappears fast.

2 cups crushed pitted and peeled plums
2 cups chopped pitted sweet cherries
1/​4 cup fresh lemon juice
5-3/​4 cups granulated sugar
1/​2 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)
1 pouch (3-ounce) liquid fruit pectin

1. Bring water in water bath canner to a boil and prepare canning jars and lids.

2. In an 8-quart stainless steel pan, combine the plums, cherries, and lemon juice. Gradually stir in the sugar and add the butter, if using. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch.

4. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam. Cool the jam in the pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/​4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp paper towel. Apply hot lids and screw on ring bands.

6. Place jars in the water bath canner, making sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover the canner and bring the water to a gentle boil. Process 4-ounce jars and 8-ounce jars for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

7. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a wire rack or cloth towel. Cool jars for 24 hours, then check seals. Wash and dry jars and store in a cool, dry, dark location.

Makes about 7 8-ounce jars

Tip: Most recipes for jams containing plums instruct you to leave the skins on the plums. I strongly advise peeling plums as the skins can turn quite bitter, tough, and chewy when cooked.





Apricot Amaretto Jam

This amazing jam will vanish in a hurry.

4-1/​4 cups crushed pitted and peeled apricots
1/​4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package (1.75-ounce) regular powdered fruit pectin
6-1/​3 cups granulated sugar
1/​2 tsp unsalted butter (optional)
1/​3 cup amaretto

1. Bring water in water bath canner to a boil and prepare canning jars and lids.

2. In an 8-quart stainless steel pan, combine the apricots and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the powdered pectin and 1/​4 cup of the measured sugar. Gradually stir the pectin mixture into the fruit. Add the butter, if using.

3. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the remaining sugar.

4. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam. Stir in the amaretto. Cool the jam in the pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/​4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp paper towel. Apply hot lids and screw on ring bands.

6. Place jars in the water bath canner, making sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover the canner and bring the water to a gentle boil. Process 4-ounce jars and 8-ounce jars for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

7. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a wire rack or cloth towel. Cool jars for 24 hours, then check seals. Wash and dry jars and store in a cool, dry, dark location.

Makes about 7 to 8 to 9 8-ounce jars

Tip: Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with an almond flavor, although the base for the liqueur is primarily made from apricot pits.





Blueberry Pie Preserves

Mmmmm! Blueberries and a hint of cinnamon, what a delightful flavor combination!

6 cups blueberries
1/​4 cup water
7 cups granulated sugar
1/​2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/​2 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)
1 pouch (3-ounce) liquid fruit pectin

1. Bring water in water bath canner to a boil and prepare canning jars and lids.

2. In an 8-quart stainless steel pan, combine the blueberries and water. Add 2 cups of the sugar and stir just until combined. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the cover. Over medium heat, gradually heat the mixture until the sugar is mostly dissolved, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Gradually stir in the remaining sugar. Stir in the cinnamon and add the butter, if using.

4. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch.

5. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam. Cool the preserves in the pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Ladle the hot preserves into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/​4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean damp paper towel. Apply hot lids and screw on ring bands.

7. Place jars in the water bath canner, making sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover the canner and bring the water to a gentle boil. Process 4-ounce jars and 8-ounce jars for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

8. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a wire rack or cloth towel. Cool jars for 24 hours, then check seals. Wash and dry jars and store in a cool, dry, dark location.

Makes about 7 8-ounce jars

Tip: Fresh or frozen blueberries can be used for making preserves. If using frozen blueberries, do not rinse or defrost the berries before making the preserves.





Rosemary Vinegar

This vinegar is a nice complement to pork roasts, chops and stews. Use young, tender leaves and sprigs without woody stems to make this special vinegar.

Makes about 4 (8-ounce) bottles or 2 (16-ounce) bottles

2 cups lightly packed fresh rosemary leaves
4 cups red wine vinegar

Rinse the rosemary leaves 2 to 3 times in cool, clean water to remove any dirt or sand. Change the water between each rinsing. Gently pat the herbs dry between several layers of paper towels. Chop the rosemary leaves to release their flavorful oils.

Place the chopped rosemary leaves in a 1 1/​2- to 2-quart clean glass jar.

In a medium stainless steel saucepan, over low heat, heat the vinegar until hot but still below simmering. Do not allow the vinegar to boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Pour the hot vinegar over the herbs in the jar. Swirl the jar gently to mix the ingredients, then set aside to cool. When the mixture is cool, cover the jar opening with 2 layers of plastic wrap, then screw on the jar lid or a screw ring. Place the jar in a paper bag and set it in a cool, dry, dark location and let the mixture steep for 2 weeks. Gently shake or swirl the jar every few days to blend the flavors.

Start tasting the vinegar after about 2 weeks. If you would like a vinegar with a stronger flavor, wait another week and sample the vinegar again. The vinegar will take 2 to 4 weeks to develop its full flavor.

When the vinegar has reached the desired strength, place a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl or pan and strain the vinegar. Discard the herbs. Rinse the sieve and line it with 3 layers of clean, damp cheesecloth. Strain the vinegar through the cheesecloth. Line the sieve with a paper coffee filter and strain the vinegar again. Pour the vinegar into a clean container, cover and let stand overnight to allow any sediment to settle to the bottom of the container.

Line the sieve with 2 layered paper coffee filters. Slowly pour the vinegar through the sieve, being careful not to disturb any sediment on the bottom of the container.

Wash decorative vinegar bottles in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Fill the bottles with boiling water and allow them to stand for 10 minutes. Just before bottling the vinegar, empty the water out of the bottles and turn them upside down to drain.

Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into the bottles, leaving about 1/​2-inch headspace between the vinegar and the top of the bottle, if using a screw cap, or if using a cork, between the vinegar and the bottom of the cork. Seal each bottle with a new cork or screw cap.





Baby Beet Pickles

Beets are an easy crop to grow in a home garden, and freshly harvested beets make the best pickles. These beet pickles make a wonderful addition to a green salad or a special treat on a relish tray. The sweet, spicy flavor is enhanced and brightened by the addition of the raspberry vinegar. For pickling, use only commercially produced vinegars, never homemade. Vinegar must have a minimum acidity level of 5 percent for safe pickling.

6 pounds 1- to 1 1/​2-inch-diameter baby beets
   (80 to 90 small beets)
3 cups raspberry vinegar
1 1/​2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
2/​3 cup distilled water
2 teaspoons whole allspice
1 1/​2 teaspoons pickling salt or kosher salt
1/​2 cinnamon stick

Cut off the beet greens, leaving 1 inch of the stem. Rinse the beets in cold water and scrub well with a soft brush to remove dirt. Trim the taproot to 1/​2-inch long.

In an 8-quart pan, cook the beets in boiling water, in 4 batches, for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove the beets from the water and drain. Plunge the beets into a bowl of ice water for 1 minute to stop the cooking process and loosen the skins. Drain well. Peel the beets, trimming off the stems and taproots.

In an 8-quart stainless steel pan, combine the raspberry vinegar, white vinegar, sugar, distilled water, allspice, salt and cinnamon stick. Over medium-low heat, gradually heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Add the peeled beets and simmer for 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, pack the beets into hot jars, leaving 1/​2-inch headspace. Line a sieve with 2 to 3 layers of fine-meshed cheesecloth. Strain the pickling syrup through the sieve. Ladle the hot syrup into jars, covering the beets and maintaining the 1/​2-inch headspace. Using a bubble freer or plastic knife, remove any air bubbles. If necessary, add more syrup to maintain the headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process both pint and quart jars in a 180° to 185°F water bath for 30 minutes.

Makes about 6 pint jars or 3 quart jars





Crunchy Dill Pickles and Kosher Dill Pickles
Recipes with Corrections


During the editing process of Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & More, an ingredient, along with the accompanying instructions, was inadvertently deleted from the Crunchy Dill Pickles (p. 268) and Kosher Dill Pickles (p. 270) recipes. Unfortunately, I did not discover the changes until after the book had been printed.

In both recipes, when making the syrup for the pickles, 3 cups of distilled water should be added to the pan along with the 3 cups of vinegar. Without the water, the concentration of the vinegar will be too strong and the pickles will shrivel in the jars. Also, there will not be enough syrup to cover the tops of the pickles in the jars.

For your convenience, the full lists of ingredients and complete directions for both pickle recipes are posted on this page. For additional instructions, advice, and special techniques on preparing these and many other pickle recipes, please refer to the Pickles Chapter in my cookbook, Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & More.




Crunchy Dill Pickles

Makes about 6 pint jars or 3 quart jars

7 pounds 4-inch-long firm, fresh pickling cucumbers (about 30)
3 quarts distilled water
1/​2 cup pickling salt or kosher salt
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups distilled water
3/​4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
18 sprigs fresh dill

Using a soft vegetable brush, gently scrub the cucumbers to remove all dirt or sand, being careful not to scratch the peel. Rinse the cucumbers 2 to 3 times in cool water, changing the water after each rinsing. Drain well. Using a sharp paring knife, remove an 1/​8-inch slice from blossom end of each cucumber. Place the cucumbers in large container or crock.

In a 4-quart pan over medium heat, heat the distilled water until warm. Add the salt and stir until completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the brine over the cucumbers. Use a gallon-size water-filled zipper storage bag or a plate to weigh down the cucumbers. Be sure the cucumbers are completely submerged in the brine and that no air pockets are trapped under the weight. Let the cucumbers soak for 24 hours.

Drain the cucumbers and rinse well. Rinse the container or crock to remove any salt. Return the cucumbers to the container and cover the cucumbers with cold water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain the cucumbers again and rinse well. Return the cucumbers to the container again and set aside.

In an 8-quart stainless steel pan, combine the vinegar, 3 cups distilled water, and sugar. Over medium-low heat, gradually heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Tie the dill seeds, mustard seeds, celery seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a spice bag or a piece of fine-meshed cheesecloth. Add the spice bag to the syrup. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the spice bag.

Pour the boiling hot syrup over the cucumbers. Allow the syrup to cool, then place the water-filled storage bag or plate over the cucumbers. Be sure the cucumbers are completely sumberged in the syrup and that no air pockets are trapped under the weight. Let the cucumbers soak 24 hours.

Drain the cucumbers, reserving the syrup. Pack the cucumbers into hot pint or quart jars, leaving 1/​2-inch headspace. Add 3 sprigs of fresh dill to each pint jar, or 6 sprigs of dill to each quart jar.

In a stainless steel pan, heat the syrup to a full boil. Ladle the syrup into the jars, covering the cucumbers and maintaining the 1/​2-inch headspace. Using a bubble freer or plastic knife, remove any air bubbles. If necessary, add more syrup to maintain the headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process both pint and quart jars in a 180° to 185°F water bath for 30 minutes.





Kosher Dill Pickles

Makes about 6 pint jars or 3 quart jars

7 pounds 4-inch-long firm, fresh pickling cucumbers (about 30)
3 quarts distilled water
1/​2 cup pickling salt or kosher salt
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups distilled water
3/​4 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced or quartered
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
18 sprigs fresh dill
6 cloves garlic, peeled

Follow the directions above for making the Crunchy Dill Pickles with the following changes:

Add the sliced garlic to the spice bag or cheesecloth along with the other spices, and add 1 clove of garlic to each pint jar, or 2 cloves of garlic to each quart jar, along with dill sprigs.




Copyright © 2015 Linda J. Amendt
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