Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600867
CAN BE CANNED WHOLE, IN STRIPS, OR IN SLICES
4 lb. of 2- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers (If packed whole, use cucumbers of uniform size) 3/4 cup canning or pickling salt (separated - 1/4 cup each on the 1st, 3rd and 5th days) 2 tbsp. mixed pickling spices 2 tsps. celery seed 5-l/2 cups sugar 4 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
YIELD: About 5 to 9 pints
PROCEDURE: Wash cucumbers. Cut l/l6-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave l/4-inch of stem attached. Place whole cucumbers in suitable 1-gallon container. Add l/4 cup salt to 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and weight. Place clean towel over container and keep the temperature at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the third and fifth days, drain salt water and discard. Rinse cucumbers and rescald cover and weight. Return cucumbers to container. Add l/4 cup salt to 2 quarts fresh water and boil. Pour over cucumbers. Replace cover and weight, and re-cover with clean towel. On the seventh day, drain salt water and discard. Rinse cucumbers and rescald containers, cover and weight. Slice or strip cucumbers, if desired, and return to container. Place celery seed and pickling spices in small cheesecloth bag. Combine 2 cups sugar and 4 cups vinegar in a saucepan. Add spice bag, bring to a boil and pour pickling solution over cucumbers. Add cover and weight and re-cover with clean towel. On each of the next six days, drain syrup and spice bag and save liquid. Add l/2 cup sugar to the liquid each day and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Remove cucumbers and rinse. Scald container, cover and weight daily. Return cucumbers to container, add boiled syrup, cover, weight, and re-cover with towel. On the fourteenth day, drain syrup into saucepan. Fill hot sterile pint jars (see directions below for sterilizing jars) or clean quart jars, leaving l/2-inch headspace. Add l/2 cup sugar to syrup and bring to boil. Remove spice bag. Pour hot syrup over cucumbers, leaving l/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process as below or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment (see directions below).
Sterilization of Empty Jars
To sterilize empty jars, place 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 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 feet. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute for each additional 1,000 feet elevation. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time as filled.
RECOMMENDED PROCESS TIMES FOR 14-DAY SWEET PICKLES IN A BOILING-WATER CANNER
Process Times at Altitudes of
Style of Jar 0- 1001- 6001- Pack Size 1000 ft. 6000 ft. 8000 ft.
Raw Pints 5 min. 10 min. 15 min. Raw Quarts 10 15 20
Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment For Processing
CAUTION: USE ONLY WHEN RECIPE INDICATES.
The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way with warm (120 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185 degrees Fahrenheit may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.