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Sweet & Sour Pickles

Print Makes about 7 (490 mL) jars

Level of Ease:


Preserving Method:

Waterbath Preserving

You Will Need:

  • 1.8 kg 10 to 15 cm cucumbers

  • 900 g onions; thinly sliced

  • 107 g pickling salt

  • 450 g sugar

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 

  • 2 teaspoons celery seed

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn

  • 720 mL vinegar, 5% acidity


1. WASH cucumbers under cold, running water; drain. Remove stem and 1.60 mm from blossom end of cucumbers. Cut cucumbers crosswise into 0.65 cm slices. Cut onions crosswise into thin slices. Put cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, layering with salt. Cover with ice cubes. Let stand 1-1/2 hours. Drain cucumbers and onion. Rinse cucumbers and onions under cold running water; drain.

2. COMBINE sugar, spices, and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a  boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cucumbers and onions. Bring mixture to a boil.

3. PACK hot pickles and liquid into a hot jar, leaving 1.25 cm headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean jar rim. Centre lid on jar and adjust band to fingertip-tight. Place jar on the rack elevated over simmering water (80°C) in hot water bath preserver. Repeat until all jars are filled.

4. LOWER the rack into simmering water. Water must cover jars by 2.50 cm. Adjust heat to medium-high, cover and bring water to a roiling boil. Process 490 mL jars 10 minutes. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars, do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.

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