Yield: Makes about 6 x 1 L jars
Prep Time: 9 days
Processing Time: 15 Minutes
Sweet pickles with old-fashioned flavour and crispness your family will love. This recipe allows you to spread a number of preparation steps over several days.
10 lb (4.5 kg) pickling cucumbers
2 cups (500 ml) pickling salt
10 cups (2500 ml) white vinegar
16 cups (4000 ml) granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp (25 ml) pickling spice
• Day 1 – Thoroughly wash cucumbers and remove stems. Slice off and discard 1/16 inch (0.2 cm) of blossom ends (opposite to stem end). Cut cucumbers lengthwise into quarters. If using large cucumbers, cut quarters to desired lengths. Layer cucumbers and pickling salt in a large, deep crock, stainless steel or glass container just large enough to hold them. Cover with boiled, cooled water. Place a weight on top of cucumbers to prevent them from floating above liquid. Let stand 3 days.
• Day 4 – Drain. Cover with boiling water; replace weight.
• Day 5 – Drain. Cover with boiling water; replace weight.
• Day 6 – Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine vinegar, 8 cups (2000 ml) sugar and pickling spice in a large saucepan. Bring to a full boil; pour over drained cucumbers and replace weight.
• Day 7 – Drain cucumbers, reserving pickling liquid in a saucepan. Add 4 cups (1000 ml) sugar to pickling liquid and bring to a boil; pour over drained cucumbers and replace weight.
• Day 8 – Drain cucumbers, reserving pickling liquid in a saucepan. Add remaining 4 cups (1000 ml) sugar to pickling liquid and bring to a boil; pour over drained cucumbers and replace weight.
• Day 9 – Place 6 clean 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
• Drain cucumbers, reserving pickling liquid in a saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil.
• Pack cucumbers into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top of jar. Add hot liquid to cover cucumbers to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining cucumbers and hot liquid.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 15 minutes.*
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.