Thursday, July 3, 2014

Virginia Sweet Chunk Pickles

 Sweet Chunk Pickles from Kat's Kitchen
I would like to take the credit for this delicious pickle, but it has been made by grandma's for generations from the east coast to the west.  I simply have the pleasure of sharing it with you.  
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Ingredients:

  • 75 pickling cucumbers 4 to 5 inches long or use 2 gallons of small cukes. (You can use just about any kind of cucumber, but pickling cukes work better)
  • Brine (the proportion is 1 gallon of water and 2 cups of salt) You need to make enough to cover your cucumbers. (I used 2 gallons of water and 4 cups of salt)
  • 3 tablespoons of powdered alum
  • 6 cups of white vinegar
  • 8 cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of pickling spice
  • 1 tbsp of celery seed
You can use as many or as few cucumbers as you have but if you use more your will need to make more syrup during that step to cover all your pickles.  

The first thing you want to do is mix 4 cups of salt with 2 gallon of water and put it on to start boiling.  Or just make sure you make enough to cover the amount of pickles you are making.

Next, wash your cucumbers under running water using a gentle scrub brush.

As you scrub put them over into your crock or any large pot if you don't have a crock.  I use my water bath canner to do mine in.

Once your brine comes to a full rolling boil, pour it over the cucumbers.  Use a plate to hold the cucumbers under the brine.  I am lucky enough to have a large plate that fits perfectly in my canner.  You can fill a canning jar with water if you need something to hold the plate down.

Let them stand like this for one week.  If it is hot weather you should check it every day and skim off any scum that might form.  

On day 7 you drain the brine off your cucumbers.  


Rinse well, cut the ends off and cut into chunks. Put back in crock or pot and continue to the next step.
I left a few of the small ones whole.  


You will do this next step over the next 3 days

Mix one gallon of water to 1 tbsp of powdered alum and bring to a boil. Pour over your pickles.
Put plate back in pot to hold them under the brine.


The next day, drain and repeat this step
The third day, drain and repeat one more time.

On the 4th morning 
Drain and discard the alum water.  

Rinse pickles well several times in fresh water.

Mix 6 cups of vinegar to 5 cups of sugar, heat this up and add 1/3 cup pickling spices and 1 tbsp of celery seed.  Bring this to a boiling point and pour over your pickles.



On the 5th morning

Drain this liquid off into a clean pot and add 2 more cups of sugar to it.  Heat it again to the boiling point and pour back over your pickles.

On the 6th morning

Drain your liquid one more time into a clean pot and add 1 cup of sugar and heat once again to the boiling point. 

Pack your pickles into jars leaving 1/2  inch head space.  Cover with your hot liquid and remove air bubbles.  Adjust head space if needed by adding more liquid.



Put on lids and rings.  Tighten down finger tight and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  

Place jars on counter to cool for 24 hours



Remove rings, Wash Jars, Label and Store in a cool dark room.


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