Yield: 4 (16-oz) pint jars
- 2 ½ pounds (3-4 inch) pickling cucumbers (about 12 or 14 cucumbers)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup Ball Salt for Pickling & Preserving
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 small bay leaves
- 12 dill sprigs
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 4 small hot peppers (optional)
- Prepare boiling-water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
- Wash cucumbers and hot peppers in cold water. Slice ¹⁄₁₆ of an inch off the blossom end of each cucumber; trim stem ends so cucumbers measure about 3 inches. Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise.
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small stainless saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer.
- Place 1 garlic clove, 3 dill sprigs, ½ tsp mustard seed, 1 bay leaf, 1 red pepper, and Ball® Pickle Crisp (if desired) into a hot jar. Pack cucumber spears into jar, leaving a ½-inch headspace. Trim any cucumbers that are too tall.
- Ladle hot brine into a hot jar, leaving a ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band; adjust to “fingertip tight.” Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Processing begins once the canner comes to a boil. Place the jars into the water bath and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove canner from heat, remove lid, then let jars cool in canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.