In a Cucumber Pickle

By James R. Coffey

I hope everyone had a good Winter and Spring season.  It is hard to believe another canning season has arrived.  It seems like everyone at some time has a glut of cucumbers and the recipes that follow are some of my favorite ways to preserve them.

Bread and Butter Pickle

This is a recipe I have won a Blue Ribbon on at Cecil County Fair.

3 pounds medium size cucumbers

2 large white onions, sliced
½ large red pepper, washed, seeded and choppe
2 T. canning salt
1 ¼ C. cider vinegar
1 ¼ C. sugar
1 ½ t. mustard seed
1 t. turmeric
1/8 t. ground cloves

Wash cucumbers and cut off and discard a thin slice from each end.  Slice cucumbers as thin as possible, either by hand or use a food processor.  Layer cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt in a bowl.  Let stand for 1 hour.  Drain vegetables and rinse in cold water.  Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in large kettle and bring to a boil.  Add vegetables and heat, but do not boil.  Remove from heat.  Pack pickles into clean jars, leaving ½ “ headspace.  Wipe jar rims.  Seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.Makes 4 pts.


Quick Sweet Pickles

Slice cucumbers and pack into jars.  To each quart add: 

1 t. celery seed

1 t. mustard seed

1 t. canning salt


Use half of the amounts for pint jars.

3 C. water

3 C. cider vinegar

6 C. granulated sugar

1 t. turmeric

Combine and heat to boiling, then pour over pickles in jars.  Leave 1” headspace for pickles and syrup.  Wipe jar rims.  Seal and process for 5 to 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  You may do these in half gallon jars, double the celery seed, mustard seed and salt and increase time in water bath to 15 to 20 minutes.  Makes 8 to 10 pints.


Cucumber Pickle


This recipe is from my grandmother’s sister, Frances Camper.  They are quick and easy and are one of my by the quart recipes.

For 1 Quart:

½ C. sugar

½ C. water

½ C. cider vinegar

1 t. canning/pickling salt

Slice cucumbers into rounds or spears.  Pack into clean jar.  Mix sugar, vinegar, water and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Pour syrup over pickles in jar.  Add a pinch of mixed pickling spice (1/4 to ½ t.) Seal.  Put in water bath canner and bring to a boil.  Boil 5 minutes, no longer.  Note:  make syrup in quantity by just multiplying out as needed for jars done. 


Aristocrat Sweet Pickles


Slice l gallon medium pickles without peeling.  Make a brine of 1 C. canning salt and 2 quarts hot water.  Pour over pickles.  Let stand 3 days.  Drain, cover with cold water.  Let stand overnight.  Drain.  Simmer 10 minutes in 2 quarts water and 2 rounding t. alum powder.  Drain.  Simmer 10 minutes in ginger tea—made of 2 to 3 T. ginger and water to cover(You may use less ginger, like 1 T.)

1 quart vinegar (some use half vinegar, half water)

3 pounds granulated sugar

2 to 3 sticks cinnamon

5 to 6 whole cloves (Tie spices in a cloth bag)

Green coloring can be added and is optional.  Put pickles in syrup and simmer until clear.  Put pickles in jars.  Pour the heated syrup over.  Wipe jar rims, seal and process (cold pack) 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  This recipe can be doubled.  Makes 6 to 8 pints.


Sweet Dill Pickles (By the Quart)


½ C. sugar

1 t. canning salt

½ C. white vinegar

1 C. water

Remove the blossom ends, wash and slice the cucumbers.  Pack the cucumbers into 2 pint or 1 qt. jar.  Place 1 head of dill or 2 t. dill seeds on the top or in the bottom of the jar.  Make a syrup of the above ingredients and pour over cucumbers in jars.  Wipe jar rims, seal and process (cold pack) 5 minutes in boiling water bath.  Make as many batches of syrup as youhave need as each batch of syrup makes 2 pt. jars or 1 qt. jar.



Sweet Dill Pickle (Long Method)


This recipe comes from the Ross Family and it won a Blue Ribbon at the Solanco Fair.

2 gallons cucumbers, sliced thin

1 C. canning salt to 1 gallon boiling water

Let stand for 5 days. On day 5, drain off brine and wash pickles well in cold water.  To cucumbers, add 1 gallon boiling water and 2 T. alum.  Let stand for 24 hours.  Drain and cover with just fresh boiling water.  Let stand for 24 hours.  Drain.  Then prepare syrup as follows:

2 pints apple cider vinegar

12 C. sugar

¾ t. oil of cloves

¾ t. oil of cinnamon

Bring to a boil and pour over drained cucumbers.  Let stand 24 hours.  Reheat the solution only every day for 3 days.  On the third day, fill each jar with pickles.  Add a head of fresh dill to each jar.  Then pour heated solution over each jar.  Leave 1” headspace for pickles and syrup.  Wipe jar rims.  Seal and put in boiling water bath for 7 minutes.  You made need to prepare extra syrup as needed.  A ½ bushel of cucumbers yields 5 gallons of pickles.  A double batch yields 31 pints.

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