Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Linda Lou's Sweet Pickle Chunks

Over on Gardenweb's Harvest Forum, canning expert (she's a Master Food Preserver) Linda Lou is famous for her sweet pickle chunks, a 9-day pickle that turns out so crunchy it almost seems supernatural. I recommend making a double batch, as along about Day 7 you're going to have a hard time keeping your family from stealing these out of the crock before you can get them canned. This is a great recipe for beginning canners. We demo'd this recipe at Hyde Park Farmers' Market July 5th.

Linda Lou's Sweet Pickle Chunks
Makes 8 pints

24 pickling cucumbers (choose slender 6-inch cucumbers of similar size and even shape, preferably picked within the past 24 hours.)
12 c sugar
6 c cider vinegar
5 t pickling and canning salt
3 T pickling spices, tied in a bag

Day 1: Cover cucumbers with cold water and discard any that float. Wash gently in several changes of water. Discard any that aren't firm and fresh. Cut 1/16 inch off of each end. Place whole cucumbers into a large sterile (I use a five-gallon food-grade bucket) container and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Weight them (I use a dinner plate) so that all are completely submerged. Leave at cool room temperature (not above 75 degrees F.)

Days 2, 3 & 4: Drain water off cucumbers. Rinse well. Rinse bowl and plate. Pour fresh boiling water over to cover and weight so that cucumbers are covered. If at any point you notice a scum forming, don't worry -- just rinse the cucumbers well and wash and rinse the container and plate that day. If you see mold forming or the cucumbers develop a nasty smell, compost the batch.

Day 5: Drain cucumbers, rinse well, and cut into 1" chunks. Make a syrup by combining the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pickling spices bag and bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour syrup (along with pickling spice bag) over cucumbers and weight so they're covered.

Days 6, 7 & 8: Drain cucumbers, retaining syrup. Reheat syrup (with pickling spice bag) to boiling. Pour over cucumbers and weight so they're covered.

Day 9: Prepare pint canning jars. Drain cucumbers, retaining syrup. Remove pickling spice bag and reheat syrup to boiling. Pack chunks into jars and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2" head space. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


vudutu said...

Val did I read that right, 12 CUPS! of sugar, that's 1/2 cup per cuke! Wow.

valereee said...

Craig, sorry, somehow your comment ended up getting caught in the spam filter! Yes, 12 cups is a LOT, but this is just a brine -- not all that sugar goes into the pickles themselves. Unless you drink the brine, you're only getting a fraction of the sugar!

Carol Ann said...

any reason you couldnt do a dill garlic pickle brine with this process?

Valerie Taylor said...

Carol Ann, the sugar is the key to getting the amazing crunch, so unless it was a sweet garlic dill, I don't think it would work.