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Canning -- Pickled and Fermented Foods

Do you have instructions for how to make whole sweet pickles?

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Yes. Sweet Gherkin Pickles: 7 lbs. cucumbers (1-1/2 inches or less) 1/2-cup canning or pickling salt 8 cups sugar 6 cups vinegar (5%) 3/4-teaspoon turmeric 2 teaspoons celery seeds 2 teaspoons whole mixed pickling spice 2 cinnamon sticks 1/2-teaspoon fennel seed (optional) 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional) Procedure: Wash cucumbers, cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place cucumbers in a large container and cover with boiling water. Six to 8 hours later, and again on the second day, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt. On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork. Combine and bring to a boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over the cucumbers. Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to a boil. Pour over pickles. On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles. Six to eight hours later, drain and save pickling syrup. Add 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla and heat to boiling. Fill sterilized pint jars with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process accordingly for raw pack pint jars: 5 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude, 10 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet altitude, and 15 minutes at above 6,000 feet.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University. (August 2004)

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