We are a house divided when it comes to pickles. Some prefer dill, some prefer spicy, others prefer sweet. This is our favorite sweet pickle recipe. It takes several days to prepare, but the result is a crisp, flavorful pickle that is sure to please.
4-5 pounds small pickling cucumbers, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds or cut into spears
1 cup canning salt
2 quarts water
1 1/2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
5 cups sugar
5 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
DAY ONE: Place cucumbers into a clean pickling container. I use one-gallon jars. (As you will see in the picture, I recycle jars from many sources.)
In a large pot add the salt and water. Bring to a boil to dissolve the salt. Pour over the cucumbers. Weight the cucumbers under the brine. Cover the container and let stand for one week. If scum forms on the top, remove it each day. It will not harm the pickles.
DAY SEVEN: Drain the cucumbers and rinse well. Discard the brine. Return the cucumbers to your container and cover with boiling water. Let stand 24 hours.
DAY EIGHT: Drain the cucumbers. Return to your container and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 24 hours.
DAY NINE: Drain the cucumbers. Add sugar, vinegar, and spices to a large pot. Bring to a boil. You can tie the spices in cheesecloth if you prefer, but I just put mine into the pot. Pour over the cucumbers, cover, and let stand for 24 hours.
DATE TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN: Drain and reserve the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil and pour back over the cucumbers. Cover and let stand for 24 hours.
DAY FOURTEEN: Drain and reserve the liquid. Pack the cucumbers into pint-sized jars. Bring the liquid to a boil and pour over the pickles leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rims with a damp cloth, adjust caps. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
This recipe doubles easily.
These are well worth the time invested in making them. Hope you enjoy!