Prep 96 hrs
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Whew! This one requires some organization & patience what with 4 days of soaking & repeated soakings but I am intrigued by the unusual spice mix as well as the dainty presentation these should make. The recipe is from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning was created by Utah State University Extension and reviewed by Charlotte Brennand, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist at Utah State University, July 1995.) I include the link because this is a wonderful review of safe canning principle and practice as recommended by the USDA & it has the method of low temperature pasteurization that this recipe can be safely processed using to make a better textured final gherkin. Yum! http://www.arizonafreepress.com/survival/canning/utah_can_guide_06.pdf
- 7 lbs cucumbers (1-1/2 inch or less)
- 1⁄2 cup pickling salt
- 8 cups sugar
- 6 cups vinegar (5%)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole mixed pickling spices
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
- Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.
- Six to 8 hours later, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt.
- 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 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 to the pickling syrup and reheat to 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. DRAIN AND SAVE pickling syrup 6 to 8 hours later.
- Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla to the pickling syrup and heat to boiling.
- Fill sterile pint jars with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
- Adjust lids and process as below, or use the low temperature pasteurization treatment (see link provided above).
This recipe need work. Like ibbarb30, I ended up with rubbery shriveled pickles. The flavor was good, but very sweet. The directions and amounts were a problem. The first vinegar/sugar bath wasn't enough to cover the cukes, so I doubled it. The additional baths, each requiring more vinegar and sugar, eventually produced way more liquid than needed for the final product. The timing was way off. Hint: there are 24 hours in a day. What do you do after 6-8 hours and you have another day before the next step. I put them in the fridge, for safety reason, but this might have caused the shrinking/rubbering problem. The link to canning instructions wasn't there, so I consulted my old Ball canning book and ended up with a hot water bath or 10 minutes. I hope this doesn't kill somebody. And, maybe because of the shriveling, I got about half-full pints. And, did I mention they were way too sweet? I mean, six cups of sugar made them come out like candy. Try another recipe or make up your own.
Oh my goodness what a terrible waste of time and money and effort. I used little pickles out of my garden all and time wondering with this recipe where the alum is to make the pickles crisp. Therefore I have shriveled up little pickles....Everything was followed to the "T", but in the process I could see what I was going to end up with a rubbery mess.
We made these gherkin pickles last year and only had very few small pickles from the garden. We ended up with only 3 pints. My husband hid the few small pint jars we did have and would not share!! :) He loves these so much. This year, we planted extra cucumber plants and have been picking baby cucumbers like crazy to make these. We are on our third batch. These are well worth all the time and energy. So crunchy and sweet and delicious!! The best recipe found yet for pickles!! Thank you for posting this!!