Sweet gherkin pickles
See making fermented pickles and sauerkraut for safety precautions and details on equipment needed.
- 7 lbs. cucumbers (1½ inch or less)
- ½ cup canning or pickling salt
- 8 cups sugar
- 6 cups vinegar (5%)
- ¾ tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. celery seeds
- 2 tsp. whole mixed pickling spice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp. fennel (optional)
- 2 tsp. vanilla (optional)
Yield: 6 to 7 pints
- Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave ¼ inch of stem attached.
- Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.
- 6 to 8 hours later—Drain; add 1/4 cup salt and cover with fresh boiling water, and on the second day—Drain; add 1/4 cup salt and cover with fresh boiling water.
- On the third day:
- Drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork.
- Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.
- Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles.
- Drain and save syrup.
- Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boil and pour over pickles.
- 6 to 8 hours later, drain and save pickling syrup. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla and heat to boil.
- Fill sterile pint jars* with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
- Adjust lids and process as below, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
*To sterilize empty jars, put them right side up on the rack in a boiling water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Boil 11 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time.
Recommended process for sweet gherkin pickles
- Boiling water bath
- Pints: 10 minutes
Reviewed by Deb Botzek-Linn, University of Minnesota Extension educator, 2010.