Friday, October 2, 2009

(Refrigerator) Sweet Pickles for Canning

After a trip to the State Farmer's Market this week, I had enough pickling cucumbers to make another batch of sweet pickles for Superman. I had no clue how many quarts of pickles I could put up with a bushel of cucumbers... it was a lot!First, I pulled out my 'Mouli'. It's the neatest little 80's gadget! This one belonged to my Nannie. (You could also use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers super-thin.)Once you've sliced the cucumbers, they need to be sprinkled with 2-3 tbsp. of good salt. I use Himalayan sea salt.It will take about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, to allow the salt to pull out water from the cucumbers.

It will start out looking like this:But as the water is pulled from the cucumbers, it'll look like this:The more water pulled from the cucumbers, the better able to absorb the liquid and spices you'll add shortly!

Once I've finished slicing the cucumbers, I begin chopping up the bell peppers and onions. I didn't have any green bell peppers today, so I used the red bell peppers that I had on hand.You can add the peppers and onions to the salted mix, as well.

Next, simmer your pickling spice mixture on the stove until the sugar dissolves.

After allowing the salted cucumbers to sit for 2 hours, drain off the liquid. (There will be LOTS!) And rinse the cucumbers, peppers, and onions in a strainer.

Load your canning jars with the vegetables, then fill the jars with the warm pickling spice solution. A bushel of cucumbers made LOTS of pickles! I had to make 5x the amount of pickling spice solution in order to have enough to cover the cucumbers sufficiently.Also, you don't want to pack the cucumbers in the jar tightly!

They will absorb the pickling spice solution, and so you need enough room in the jar to hold extra solution. The first time I made this recipe, I noticed that after a week in the refrigerator, the jars had very little solution in them. Only pack the jars to below the neck. This will allow for excess solution that will be absorbed by the pickles as they age.In the end, a bushel of cucumbers produced 11 quarts and 3 pints of sweet pickles.

The 12th jar is filled with onions, red bell peppers, and banana peppers for Superman!


1 cup green bell peppers

7 cups pickling cucumbers

1 cup onions

Pickling Spice Recipe:

1 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar or sucanat

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. mustard seed

**To keep the pickles crunchy, you don't water bath process them! You simply store the jars in your refrigerator. They keep 5-6 months stored in the refrigerator. However, I've never had a supply last that long at our house! They are a new family favorite!

**Allow the pickles to age for a week or two before eating. The longer they sit, the better they taste!

1 comment:

Southern Gal said...

My husband's mother and grandmother used to keep me in canned goods especially pickles and jams. I miss that so much.
I guess it's time I try my hand at it!

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