When Mom and Dad visited last week, they brought me 8 lbs. of cucumbers from their garden. That could only mean one thing for me! PICKLES!!!!
I had found this “Lime Pickles” recipe a few years back and it was great. I figured if it wasn’t broke, I wasn’t gonna fix it, so I used it for these too.
*Just to warn you, this post has A LOT of pictures, so get ready…..
Here is what I did:
Take a pickling crock and fill it with water. If you dont have a crock, you can use a plastic food grade container or some type of enamel ware. Just dont use an aluminum pot because the lime could stain it.
Mix in some Pickling Lime.
Start slicing cucumbers,
About this thick.
Get “little helpers” to dump into crock.
Once all the cucumbers are in the crock,
I like to cover it with a bowl to weigh down the cucumbers making sure they are all submerged in the lime water.
Let sit 2 hours or overnight. ( I do overnight) I also cover it with a a dish towel. Next time, however, for the picture’s sake, I might choose one that isn’t so stained. I promise it was clean!
The next day, I discarded the lime water and rinsed the pickles three times with fresh cold water each time.
I just transferred the pickles between my two sinks back and forth.
Then I let the pickles sit in ice cold water for 3 hours.
Next, I heated A LOT of vinegar with A LOT of sugar with a LITTLE BIT of mixed pickling spice and a LITTLE BIT of salt.
When the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add the cucumber slices. You’re gonna need a BIG POT!
Soak 5-6 hours or overnight. ( I did overnight again.) What? I’m busy!
The next day, I boiled the pickles for 35 minutes.
Then, I filled sterilized pint jars with a little bit of the pickles.
Push them down with a spoon. You want to make sure you get as much as you can in the jars.
Then just repeat until you have filled the jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace from the top.
Pour the hot syrup over the slices if you haven’t already.
Meanwhile, I took my seals and heated them to a very low simmer in some water, NOT BOIL, to keep them warm. (warming to a very low simmer helps to form a better seal, while boiling could mess up the sealing process if you aren’t careful)
I used tongs to take out of water and place in clean lids.
Then, I wiped the rim of the jars dry and capped with seals/lids. Make sure not to screw on too tight. It could possibly mess up the sealing process.
Time for the hot water bath! Fill a large pot or pressure canner with water about half way up the side. If you want to reuse the same pot you had the cucumbers in, that is fine. Just wash it out and reuse it.
Now would be the time to use your jar lifter to insert the jars into the water, but since I am cheap, I carefully used my trusty old pampered chef rubber tongs.
Make sure that water covers atleast 1 inch over the jars. Heat on high to bring to a gentle boil. Then, if using a pressure canner, making sure the vent pipe is clean, cover with lid and reduce heat to maintain a steady gentle boil. If using a regular pot, do the exact same steps, but cover with pot lid and maintain steady gentle boil. Do this for 15 minutes.
When 15 minutes is up, remove pot from heat and open lid of pot away from you so that trapped steam can escape safely. Remove jars from water using tongs or jar lifter. Jars will be VERY HOT. Allow to cool 24 hours on towel.
It is best to allow pickles to cure for up to 4-6 weeks. They taste better that way. However, if you have a husband like mine, who is VERY impatient…… this may be impossible!!!
RECIPE: Lime Pickles
– 7lbs. of cucumbers, cleaned and cut crosswise. ( I used around 8 lbs.)
– 1 cup Pickling Lime
– 2 gallons water
– 8 cups distilled white vinegar
– 8 cups sugar
– 2 teaspoons mixed pickling spices
– 1 tablespoon salt
– Canning Jars with lids and seals
Soak cucumbers in water and lime mixture in crock or enamel ware for 2 hours or overnight. Do not use aluminum containers due to staining.
Remove sliced cucumbers from lime water. Discard lime water and rinse cucumbers 3 times in fresh cold water. Soak 3 hours in fresh ice water.
Combine vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add sliced cucumbers. Soak 5-6 hours or overnight.
Boil slices in the syrup 35 minutes. Fill sterilized jars with hot slices. Pour hot syrup over the slices, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Cap each jar when filled.
Process pints 15 minutes, quarts 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s instructions. Allow to cure for up to 4-6 weeks for best results but can be eaten sooner. Refrigerate any unsealed jars.