Summer is just around the corner, which means cookouts, barbecues, and picnics. And when you think of picnics, you think of pickles. Dill pickles are frequently used year-round for sandwiches and such, but sweet pickles seem to be associated more with the summer season. Here’s a simple recipe for making your own, old-fashioned sweet pickles, often referred to as bread and butter pickles.
Bread & Butter Pickles
- 2 dozen medium-sized cucumbers
- ½ C pickling salt
- 3¼ Cs apple cider vinegar
- 2-⅛ qts water
- 6 cups sugar
- 2 Ts whole cloves
- 2 Ts pickling spices
Put cucumbers in a large crock or pickling jar.
Cover with a brine of ½ cup pickling salt, ¼ cup vinegar, and 2 quarts water.
Cover the crock and weight done using a plate with a canning jar full of water on top.
The fermentation will cause a white, scummy substance to form on top of the brine. Every day for 2 weeks, check the cucumbers and skim the scum from the surface if present.
After 2 weeks, drain, cut into ¼ inch slices, let stand for 24 hours in cold water, and then rinse.
Combine 3 cups vinegar with 6 cups of sugar and ½ cup (⅛ quart) water. Tie 2 tablespoons each whole cloves and mixed pickling spices in cheesecloth, add to vinegar solution, and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours. Drain, reheat vinegar solution, and repeat process 4 times (this is only a 5-minute task each day).
Remove spices and pack pickles in sterile jars. Bring vinegar solution to a boil and pour over pickles. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.