Granny Hoffman’s Sweet Pickles

Other cucumbers can be used, but the Armenian ones give these pickles their distinctive fluted edges. Also, the brand of pickling spice that you use can make a big difference in how these come out.

7 lb Armenian cucumbers
1 C pickling lime
5 qt cold water


8 C white vinegar
1 C water
8 C sugar
1 Tbsp Pickling salt
1 scant Tbsp pickling spice (McCormick Extra Fancy Pickling Spice is best)
⅛ tsp celery seed
6 whole cloves
½ cinnamon stick broken into chunks

Day 1

Wash & cut cucumbers into about ⅜” slices. Carefully mix the lime into the 5 quarts of cold water in a large plastic bucket (you don’t want to be breathing the powder, so add it carefully & less of it will get into the air). Add your pickle slices & find a glass plate or pie tin that fits down into the bucket to press the slices into the water. Soak for 24 hours. The lime will settle to the bottom, so during these 24 hours, take a long handled spoon & carefully stir up the lime from the bottom of the bucket back into the water. The cucumber slices will be getting crisper & crisper, so stir carefully so as not to break them. Another way to redistribute the lime is to set the bucket on a flat surface and twist it back & forth until the lime stirs up into the water, but it takes some strength to do this… So, if you have a manly man around…

Day 2

After 24 hours of soaking, thoroughly wash & drain chips. Use a slotted spoon to lift a portion of the chips into a colander that has been set into a bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water (using the spray handle if your faucet has one, to spray the chips while it’s filling the bowl), then when the bowl is full of water, lift & lower the colander to rinse off the lime. Carefully empty the colander into another plastic bucket with fresh cold water in it & repeat this process till all the chips are rinsed. Let the chips sit in the fresh cold water for an hour. Thoroughly rinse the lime out of your first bucket, fill it with fresh cold water & use slotted spoon (or your hands) to transfer chips from one bucket to another. Let them sit in the second bucket of cold water for two hours. While they are soaking, make your syrup. Mix all ingredients together & bring to a boil, then turn off heat (this is the smelly part – your whole house will smell like pickles). Drain pickles thoroughly & place them in one of your buckets. Bring syrup to boil again & pour over pickles. Put plate on top again to keep pickles in liquid. Soak overnight.

Day 3

Prepare jars & lids for canning. Carefully pour pickle chips & syrup into a large pot & bring to a boil. Keep at a low boil for 30 minutes. Use slotted spoon to pack chips snugly into each jar. Ladle in syrup to ¼” from rim of jar, remove trapped air bubbles & add more syrup if necessary. Screw on lids. Process jars in water bath for 20 minutes. Remove & set on towel on counter in a spot where they can sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

Yields: approximately 6 quarts

Time to make: 3 days

Source: Kathy Hoffman (submitted by Angela Hoffman, who loves them chopped up in tuna fish sandwiches!)

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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