How to Make Sweet Pickles

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Old-Fashioned Sweet Pickle Recipe

Painting of a Pickle Jar

Sweet pickles are the perfect summer snack, and this old-fashioned homemade recipe will have you wanting more!

Eastern Michigan University

Learn how to make sweet pickles the “old-fashioned” way. We guarantee you that the slow way is the best way. This sweet pickle recipe is sure to please!

Sweet Pickles: Homemade Pickle Recipe

  • Put 2 dozen 3–inch cucumbers, freshly picked, in a crock or a jar. A crock can be anything from an unchipped enamel crock to a big glass jar that supermarkets buy their pickles in. Check out our cucumber plant page to find out how to grow your own cucumbers.
  • Cover with a brine of ½ cup pickling salt, ¼ cup vinegar, and 2 quarts water.
  • Weight down the cucumbers (a plate with a canning jar full of water on top of it will do nicely), and cover the crock.
  • The fermentation of the cucumbers will cause a white, scummy substance to form on top of the brine. Every day for 2 weeks, check on your cucumbers and just skim the scum off if it is present.
  • After 2 weeks, drain, cut into chunks, and let them stand for 24 hours in cold water, and then rinse.
  • Combine 3 cups vinegar with 6 cups of sugar and ½ cup water. Tie 2 tablespoons each whole cloves and mixed pickling spices in cheesecloth, add to vinegar solution, and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours. Drain, reheat vinegar solution, and repeat 4 times (this is only a 5-minute process each day).
  • Remove spices and pack pickles in sterile jars. Bring vinegar solution to a boil and pour over pickles. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 

Now you have tasty sweet pickles to enjoy all summer long! For more delicious snacks, try out our pickling tips and recipes

Not in the mood for sweet pickles? Check out our page on how to make dill pickles. And if these recipes are a bit too complicated, try your hand at our easiest pickle recipe.

Source: 

The Forgotten Arts, Book Five, 1982

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Crock sweet pickles

Hello,

I am making the crock sweet pickles using your recipe that allows these to be placed in a glass jar instead of a crock for the 2 weeks time. I used 1/2 gallon Ball jars, placing a pint jar filled with water with it's lid inside the 1/2 gallon jar. I didn't seal the 1/2 gallon jar. The pint jars are sticking out of the top, but the cucumbers has been below the water line the whole time. I started these on a Tuesday and it has been a week and I'm not seeing any "scum". My question is, should I have sealed the 1/2 gallon jar with a lid as well? If so, once the fermentation starts, doesn't it release gases that must be allowed to escape, like fermenting cabbage? I'm new at this and am not sure I have done this correctly. A crock would not have a good seal and would allow for some gases to escape. If I have done this wrong, and these are recoverable, any help would be appreciated. Thank You.

We’re a little confused,

We’re a little confused, Donna. Did you put sealed jars inside another jar? The cucumbers should be inside one jar/crock and have a weighted lid.

sweet pickles

Hello. Thanks for replying back. I have cucumbers in 1/2 gallon jars, filled with the brine. I filled a pint jar with water (with it's lid) and used it as my weight to hold the pickles down under the brine. The pint jar fits perfectly inside the opening of the 1/2 gallon jar. The lids from the pint jars aren't touching the brine. The 1/2 gallon jars don't have their lid on them and the top of the pint jar with it's lid is even with the top rim of the 1/2 gallon jar. The 1/2 gallon jars are open to the air. I still don't see any scum as of today.

Wait a little longer for scum

Wait a little longer for scum to form, but if it doesn’t within the next few days you should discard the cucumbers. You may want to cover the ½ gallon jars with dish towels or cheesecloth just to keep dust and other debris from getting in.

sweet pickles

I guess I don't understand the latest reply. What is the reasoning to discard? Having a cheese cloth or dish towel covering doesn't explain the issue about no scum forming. What does the scum signal? Not sure you understand my question.

No scum means your cucumbers

No scum means your cucumbers are not fermenting properly. If this is the case, they will not be safe to eat so you must discard them. Covering the jars is just a precaution so that if your cucumbers do in fact pickle, you will not be ingesting anything you wouldn’t want like pollen, dust, dirt, etc.

Ok. This process is harder

Ok. This process is harder than it looks... I think I will buy a crock where I know to place the plate and jar inside and then cover the crock. The instructions aren't very clear about placing a lid on the glass jars, after weighting down the pickles, or what should be done if you use a glass jar for fermentation. "•Weight down the cucumbers (a plate with a canning jar full of water on top of it will do nicely), and cover the crock." I know from seeing others ferment cabbage, the lids needs a release of some sort as they ferment.

Thank you.

What happens if I leave out

What happens if I leave out my sugar and vinegar brine over night. Does the vinegar drop below the 5% acidity level?

The vinegar will be fine. It

The vinegar will be fine. It will not drop below 5%.

I cannot find the recipe for

I cannot find the recipe for the spicy garlic pickle chips
thank you
Celine

I just tried this recipe for

I just tried this recipe for the first time. When I got to the end I decided to slice half of the pickles and leave the other half whole. After pouring the hot sugar soak on the whole pickles are shriveled like raisins and inedible but the slices are perfect. What went wrong?

Whole and large pickles are

Whole and large pickles are more likely to shrivel than sliced pickles. It may be due to a change in the rate at which the brine is absorbed.

Luv, luv the sweet

Luv, luv the sweet pickles...it keeps me going thru the cold winters. So easy and thanks for sharing the recipe.

Thank-you in for reading my

Thank-you in for reading my question and for the responds. Do you have to use a crock to make 2 week pickles like my Mom did? If so can I use a reproduction crock? Thank you Linda

A crock can be anything from

A crock can be anything from an unchipped enamel crock to a big glass jar that supermarkets buy their pickles in.

Do you have recipes for

Do you have recipes for pickling
Jerusalem Artichokes
(AKA Sunchokes)?

We're sorry to say that we do

We're sorry to say that we do not have a recipe for pickled Jerusalem artichokes, but here is one from Bon Appetit:
http://www.bonappetit.com/reci...

Awesome sweet pickles! We are

Awesome sweet pickles! We are in love! I can only send pint jars to my grandson's house as he and his mother will sit down and polish a pint off in a setting. I'm afraid to know what would happen to a quart. Thanks so much for the recipe.

would like a recipe to make

would like a recipe to make corn relish

The old fashion way

Thanks

Hi Tony, Here's a recipe from

Hi Tony,
Here's a recipe from our archives.

  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  1. Place the corn, onions and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a pot combine sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seeds, and dry mustard. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture over the corn mixture. Let cool. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before servings. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3 cups.

 

Is calcium chloride as

Is calcium chloride as effective as lime for crisp sweet pickles?

Do you mean calcium

Do you mean calcium chloride—or calcium hydroxide? The latter is used in lime-vinegar soaking solutions. See here.
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/family/...
As for calcium chloride, there are mixed reviews on this. See above also: Lime must be food grade—lime sold in lumberyards is industrial grade and may contain contaminants.
At least one cooperative extension advises against using lime in homemade pickles, as it may result in an "unsafe" product." Calcium chloride is used to firm commercial pickles and it was not used in this recipe.
You can read more here: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/...
We hope this helps.

The recipe doesn't say how

The recipe doesn't say how many pints or quarts it makes. Also, is it scalable? Could I double or triple it, come summer?

I have been looking for a

I have been looking for a recipe for bread and butter easy pickles is this one or is it just sweet pickles?

i can,t find a recipe for

i can,t find a recipe for cauliflower pickels can you help, thanks.

You can use this pickling

You can use this pickling recipe for cauliflower, too. Hope this helps. http://www.almanac.com/content...

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