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Old Fashioned 14-Day Sweet Pickles

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Old fashioned 14-day sweet pickles are an old-time sweet pickle that’s well worth the wait.  The process may take a while, but the results take you back to grandma’s canning pantry and can’t be beat.

If you are like most people, you probably love pickles, especially the sweet kind. But have you ever tried making them yourself? 
Canning sweet pickles is a fun and easy way to make your own delicious treats that you can enjoy all year round. But who wants to stand by a hot stove for hours on end? 14-day sweet pickles are great because they are mostly a set-and-forget kind of recipe, great for someone with a busy schedule who wants to make it seem like they’ve been sweating it out in the kitchen – but really haven’t. 
In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide to canning 14-day sweet pickles. So, get your apron on, grab your bag of garden-fresh cucumbers, and let’s get started!

How 14 Day Sweet Pickles Work
So I’m sure you’re asking, why on earth so much time?
These are actually a cultured pickle recipe, and the time involved helps them cure and develop flavor.  It also conditions them to accept the sugar, salt, and spices from the brine in the canning jar at the end.
The confusing part is, most people are used to lacto-fermentation (from sauerkraut and crock pickles), which requires a salt brine but raw cucumbers.  This recipe uses boiling brine instead, and actually boils the brine every few days to kill off any lactic acid bacteria that may land there.
It’s using a different kind of culture that loves salt but is heat resistant and can live through boiling (believe it or not).  It’s the same kind of culture used in old-fashioned salt-rising bread, which is made with a boiled culture as well.  Fun science fact of the day =)
The main thing here is that every step in the process does have a purpose, and it’s important to follow it correctly to get the right results.
Ingredients for 14-Day Sweet Pickles
This is a tested canning recipe from So Easy to Preserve by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.  They took a 100+-year-old recipe and tested it using modern standards for safe canning, and it works out beautifully.
The ingredients for canning 14-day sweet pickles are quite simple.  To make a canner batch of five to nine pint jars, you’ll need the following:

4 lbs of pickling cucumbers (ideally 2-5″)
4 cups vinegar
¾ cups canning salt 
2 Tbsp pickling spice
2 Tbsp celery seed
5 ½ cups sugar

The actual yield here really depends on the size of your cucumbers.  Smaller cucumbers pack better into jars, and you’ll get closer to 5 jars, while larger cucumbers don’t pack as neatly, and you’ll need closer to 9 jars.
As you’re prepping your ingredients, know that you do have a bit of wiggle room when it comes to the pickles. This recipe calls for four pounds of 2-5″ cucumbers. If you’d prefer to can them whole rather than sliced, you should make sure you’re selecting ones that are relatively uniform in size. Otherwise, you can mix and match.

Canning 14-Day Sweet Pickles
The first step in making sweet pickles is to get some fresh cucumbers. Wash them thoroughly and cut off a small slice of the bottom (blossom end). You can throw this slice away. Leave about a quarter inch of stem attached to the cucumbers.
The blossom end of cucumbers contains an enzyme that softens cucumber pickles, so you do really want to remove about 1/16th of an inch of the actual cucumber there.
Place your cucumbers in a one-gallon container.
In a saucepan, add ¼ cup salt to 2 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Pour this brine over your cucumbers in the container. Add a weight on top of the cucumbers. Cover the container with a clean towel and make sure that the temperature stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the third and fifth days of the process, you need to drain the saltwater and discard it. Rinse your cucumbers, and if you see any scum, remove it. Scald the weight to remove any bacteria.
Put the cucumbers back in the container. Add ¼ cup of salt to two quarts of fresh water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour this fresh brine over the cucumbers. Replace the cover of the container, add the weight on top, and cover it with a clean towel.
On the seventh day, drain the saltwater and throw it away. Rinse the cucumbers and scald the container and weight. Cut the cucumbers into slices or strips if you prefer. Return the whole cucumbers or sliced cucumbers back into the container. 
Now, it’s time to add the seasoning. Put pickling spices and celery seed in a small cheesecloth bag. Combine 2 cups of sugar and 4 cups of vinegar in a saucepan and add the spice bag. Bring this mixture to a boil and then pour it over the cucumbers. Place the spice bag in the container as well, and add the cover and weight. Recover the pot with a clean towel. 
On the eighth day, take the cucumbers out of the syrup and rinse them. Scald your container, weight, and cover, then put the cucumbers back in the container. Add the syrup, the spice bag, and the weight, and cover it all with a clean towel.
For the next six days, repeat the process: drain the syrup in a separate pot, remove the spice bag and discard it, add ½ cup of sugar to the syrup, then bring it to a boil. Finally, remove the cucumbers and rinse them before placing them back in the container with the syrup, the spice bag, and the weight. All these steps will help your pickles reach their fullest, tangiest potential.
On the fourteenth day, it’s time to sterilize your canning jars. Remove the spice bag from the syrup, then drain the liquid in a separate pot. Add more sugar and bring the syrup to a boil. Pack the pickles into hot quart or pint jars, making sure you leave half an inch of headspace. Fill the jars to half an inch from the top with the hot liquid. Finally, remove any air bubbles, wipe the jar rims, and adjust the lids. 
Process the jars for five minutes for pints and ten minutes for quarts in a boiling water bath canner. Once the canning time is over, turn off the heat and let the jars cool down for roughly 24 hours, either in the canner or on a clean rag on the countertop. Check your seals, label your jars, and store them for up to one year. 

Serving 14 Day Sweet Pickles
Sweet pickles are delicious on their own, and can also be paired with an array of different dishes. 
Of course, they make the perfect snack. They offer the ideal balance between sweet and sour, with the crunch adding that special texture to your experience. You can eat these ickles right out of the jar.
14-day sweet pickles also offer a unique zing and zest to sandwiches. Whether it be a turkey club or a classic PB&J (yes, you read that right!)Sweet pickles can add a new dimension of flavor to any sandwich. 
If you’re a fan of pickled vegetables in your salads, try adding some 14-day sweet pickles. Not only will it add that tanginess you’re looking for, but it can also add a pop of color to your salad.

Yield: Makes 4 to 8 Pints (depending on how they’re packed)

Old Fashioned 14-Day Sweet Pickles

Prep Time:
14 days

Cook Time:
10 minutes

Additional Time:
10 minutes

Total Time:
10 minutes

Old fashioned 14-day sweet pickles are an old-time sweet pickle that’s well worth the wait.  The process may take a while, but the results take you back to grandma’s canning pantry and can’t be beaten.

Ingredients

4 lbs of pickling cucumbers (ideally 2-5″)

4 cups vinegar

¾ cups canning salt 

2 Tbsp pickling spice

2 Tbsp celery seed

5 ½ cups sugar

Instructions
Wash your cucumbers thoroughly and cut off a small slice of the bottom. You can throw this slice away. Leave about a quarter inch of stem attached to the cucumbers. Place your cucumbers in a one-gallon container.In a saucepan, add ¼ cup salt to 2 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Pour this brine over your cucumbers in the container. Add a weight on top of the cucumbers. Cover the container with a clean towel and make sure that the temperature stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.On the third and fifth days of the process, drain the saltwater and discard it. Rinse your cucumbers, and if you see any scum, remove it. Scald the weight to remove any bacteria.Put the cucumbers back in the container. Add ¼ cup of salt to two quarts of fresh water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour this fresh brine over the cucumbers. Replace the cover of the container, add the weight on top and cover it with a clean towel.On the seventh day, drain the saltwater and throw it away. Rinse the cucumbers and scald the container and weight. Cut the cucumbers into slices or strips if you prefer. Return the whole cucumbers or sliced cucumbers back into the container. Put pickling spices and celery seed in a small cheesecloth bag. Combine 2 cups of sugar and 4 cups of vinegar in a saucepan and add the spice bag. Bring this mixture to a boil and then pour it over the cucumbers. Place the spice bag in the container as well, and add the cover and weight. Recover the pot with a clean towel. On the eighth day, take the cucumbers out of the syrup and rinse them. Scald your container, weight, and cover, then put the cucumbers back in the container. Add the syrup, the spice bag, and the weight, and cover it all with a clean towel.For the next six days, repeat the process: drain the syrup in a separate pot, remove the spice bag and discard it, add ½ cup of sugar to the syrup, then bring it to a boil. Remove the cucumbers and rinse them before placing them back in the container with the syrup, the spice bag, and the weight. On the fourteenth day, sterilize your canning jars. Remove the spice bag from the syrup, then drain the liquid in a separate pot. Add more sugar and bring the syrup to a boil. Pack the pickles into hot quart or pint jars, making sure you leave half an inch of headspace. Fill the jars to half an inch from the top with the hot liquid. Finally, remove any air bubbles, wipe the jar rims, and adjust the lids. Process the jars for five minutes for pints and ten minutes for quarts in a boiling water bath canner. Once the canning time is over, turn off the heat and let the jars cool down for roughly 24 hours, either in the canner or on a clean rag on the countertop. Check your seals, label your jars, and store them for up to one year.   

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