Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Making Sweet Gherkins

Sweet gherkin pickles

Ingredients:  Yields 6 to 7 pints

7 lb cucumbers (11 ⁄2 inch or less)
1 ⁄2 cup canning or pickling salt
6 cups vinegar (5%)
8 cups sugar
3 ⁄4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp whole mixed pickling spice (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 ⁄2 tsp fennel (optional)
2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1 ⁄16 inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1 ⁄4 inch of stem attached.
Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water. Six to 8 hours later, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1 ⁄4 cup salt.
Repeat on the second day.
On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork. Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.
Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar to the syrup and reheat to boiling.
Pour over pickles. On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar.
Heat syrup to boiling and pour over pickles. Let sit 6 to 8 hours and then drain, saving the pickling syrup.
Add 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla and heat to boiling.
Fill pint jars with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1 ⁄2-inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rims of jars and put on lids and bands.  Tighten finger tight.
Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.   Adjust time for your elevation.

Process time (minutes) at altitudes of 1,000 ft or less process 5 minutes
1,001– 3,000 ft process 10 minutes
3,001– 6,000 ft process 10 minutes
Above 6,000 ft process 15 minutes

Reference:  Oregon State University County Extension