Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dilly Beans

I have a bazillion beans in my garden.  I'm literally picking them by the gallon.  What to do with all those beans . . . besides eat them right up, of course . . . ?  Dilly-'em.  

What's a dilly bean?  A hot spicy pickled dill bean. What's better than a dilly bean?  A whole jar of them.  And what's better than that?  Jars and JARS of them.  Mmmm, yeah, baby!

Dilly Beans (Pickled Green Beans)

Figure approximately 1 pound of beans per pint jar. This recipe makes about six pints of dilly beans.

6 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars 

3 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use more but it depends on how spicy you like them)
6 teaspoons dill seed 
6 cloves garlic
5 cups white vinegar (5%)
5 cups water
1/2 cup pickling salt (use a bit more if you’ve only got kosher)

You will also need a canning pot, pint canning jars, lids with rings, a jar lifter, canning jar funnel.

Begin by inserting the rack into the pot, add the jars and fill the pot (and jars) with water.  Bring the water to a boil to sterilize the jars while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.  Boil the jars at least 5 minutes.

Add the lids to a smaller pan of water and bring to a to boil.  Turn down to a simmer once the water has come to a boil. 

Wash and trim the beans so that they fit in your jar. If you have very long beans, like I do, you may have to cut them in half.  Pack them in tight to minimize air space.

Combine vinegar, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. 

Remove the jars from the canning pot.  Make sure to leave about half the water and leave it at a heavy simmer.

While the brine is heating up, pack the beans into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace (distance between the tops of the beans and the rim of the jar). 

Then to each jar add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you want them), 1 clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon dill seeds.

Pour the boiling brine over the beans, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace. 

Use a plastic knife to remove air bubbles from jar by running it around the interior of the jar. Wipe the rims and apply the lids and rings.

Place the jars of beans into the canning pot.  Bring the water to a full boil.  Process the beans for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Remove the beans from the pot and let them sit undisturbed for at least 12 hours.  At which time you may remove the rings and store them.

Test to make sure the jars are sealed by pressing down on the middle of the lid.  If isn't sucked down then put the jar in the fridge and use as soon as possible.

Let the beans sit for at least two weeks before eating, to thoroughly develop their flavor.

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