My friend, Sarah, has been making these pickles I think since we were in high school. From time to time, I forget about making them and she reminds me. They are sweet and crunchy and we love them. The basic recipe that Sarah shared with me is to take one of those big gallon jars of whole dill pickles, take the pickles out but leave the juice in the jar. Add 5 – 6 cups sugar to the jar, slice the pickles, put them back in the jar. Leave the jar sitting on the counter for several days and turn it a few times a day so the sugar dissolves, then put the jar in the fridge.
I had a few problems with that method. First, once I put the sugar in the liquid, the pickles never all fit back in and I felt like I was wasting sugar. Second, the jar is huge and takes up a lot of room in the fridge.
Not sure if they’ve always had this size jar or if I just found it in this 80 oz. size at Wal-Mart for less than $4.00. You can make these like Sarah originally taught me . . just dump the sugar into the juice in the jar they came in and add the slices back or, you can do it the way I now do it.
All you need are pickles, sugar, jars/lids and if you’d like, you can add jalapenos, garlic or Tabasco.
Take the whole pickles from the jar and slice them up into the smaller jars. They will fill 5 or 6 pint jars, depending on the size and how many pickles are in the big jar. Add a few jalapeno slices to each jar if desired.
At this point, you can add the sugar to the jars or you can boil the sugar in the pickle juice to dissolve the sugar. If I boil the sugar in the juice, I let the juice cool before pouring it over the pickles.
This is what the jars look like if you add the sugar. I added 3/4 cup sugar to each jar, then filled it with pickle juice. On this particular day, I decided to water bath can them to see what would happen — if they would lose their crunch after a trip through the canner. While I cannot say that this is a safe method, though I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, going through a water bath canner for 20 minutes did not cause the pickles to lose their crunch.
For the pickles I made today, I didn’t want to have to deal with shaking the pickles to get the sugar to dissolve so I put 4 cups of sugar into a pot, added just enough pickle juice to give the sugar the liquid it needed to simmer in. Once the sugar melted, I left it alone til it all cooled down, then poured it over the pickles, and it was enough to fill each jar about 3/4 full of liquid. Plain pickle juice was added to the jars to fill them.
These pickles need to be left in the fridge at least a week, two weeks is better, but unless there are some in the fridge from the last batch, and I don’t think there are, we’ll be doing good to wait one week.
They are one of our favorite pickles, so easy and so inexpensive to make!