Every sandwich needs a pickle! Preserve your own sweet pickles using a water bath canning method – easy and inexpensive too!
In our home, pickles are like candy. I swear; they seem to disappear so quickly. Now, I know McKenna is quite the lover of pickles, and oftentimes, will pull the jar out of the fridge and eat a few pickles as a snack. As for me and John.e, we tend to like pickles on sandwiches, or served with some crackers and cheese. We very rarely just munch on a plain pickle right out of the jar.
There are many kinds of pickles, but the most common are dill pickles, and in contrast, a sweet pickle. Last year, I made Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles, and these Sweet Sandwich Pickles were inspired by those zucchini pickles. This time, I used cucumbers rather than zucchini.
Now, if you prefer zucchini over cucumbers, you can use zucchini in this recipe too. I find that with pickles, the two are interchangeable without affecting the overall taste. I used cucumbers simply because they were on sale at the time I was preparing this recipe.
When I was preparing the cucumbers, I sliced them very thinly – just between 1/8th and 1/4 inch thick. And, I also sliced them on a diagonal just because I thought they looked a little better that way. Keep in mind that I used mini cucumbers, so if they were sliced straight across, the pickle slices would be quite small.
Now, you can use regular sized cucumbers if you wish. That’s entirely up to you. But, the skin on mini cucumbers is a little more delicate so you’ll end up with a more pliable pickle after it has been sitting in the brine. If you’re looking for a crunchy pickle, this is not it. These pickles are thin and soft. They’re perfect for a sandwich with just the right amount of sweetness and tartness.
I will put these pickles on just about any sandwich I make. They’re great on burgers too. You can even add a few to a salad! One of my favourite ways to enjoy these pickles is in tuna salad. Just roughly chop up about a quarter of a cup and stir them into your tuna salad. They add so much flavour to a basic tuna salad recipe.
Like all of my canning recipes, these Sweet Sandwich Pickles require only a water canner. The water bath canning method is my canning method of choice. I’ve never canned anything in a pressure canner. Now, I know there are canning professionals who advise against using a water bath canning method, but I assure you, all of my canning recipes have been tried and tested and have never failed me.
If you’re worried, don’t be. The amount of vinegar and sugar used in this recipe creates the perfect amount of preservatives. Water bath canning is widely used in recipes that are high in sugar and acid content. The cider vinegar in this recipe provided adequate amount of acid levels to ensure safe eating until you run out of your newly stocked pantry.
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Sweet Sandwich Pickles
- 6 750 ml mason jars with screw bands and new, unused sealing discs.
- Water Bath Canner with Jar Rack
- Jar Wrench/Lifter
- Canning Funnel
- Non-metallic Bubble Remover
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- 45 mini cucumbers, about 8 pounds, sliced into 1/8-1/4 inch slices
- 4 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 4 teaspoons celery seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
To Prepare Mason Jars:
- Wash mason jars and screw lids in soapy water and rinse soap off well under running hot water. Place clean jars on a baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees. Set screw bands aside. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour into a clean glass bowl. Carefully submerge the sealing discs in the bowl of hot water. Set aside.
- Once the cucumbers are sliced, add the water, vinegar, and sugar to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mustard seeds, celery seeds, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Place the cucumbers into the pot. Stir into the brine and boil for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, fill your water bath canner to the halfway mark with water and add the jar rack. Bring to a full boil.
- Ladle the cucumbers into prepared mason jars using a funnel to prevent the mixture from touching the rim of the jars.
- Use the non-metallic bubble remover to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe down the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to ensure none of the brine has come in contact with the rim.
- Carefully remove the sealing discs from the hot water with a magnetic lid lifter. Position the sealing disc directly onto the lid of the jars. Do not touch the underside of the lid.
- Screw on the screw bands until firm – do not apply pressure! Just use your fingertips to tighten the screw bands.
- Using the jar lifter, place the jars into the water bath canner with the boiling water. Do not place the lid on the canner.
- Boil for 20 minutes. Carefully remove each jar from the canner using the jar lifter. Try not to tilt the jars. Place jars onto a wire cooling rack that has been covered with a clean kitchen towel.
- Leave the jars to cool for a minimum of 12 hours. Once cooled, wipe the jars of any residue that might have been transferred to the outside of the jar during the boiling process. Label the jars and store in a dark, cool cabinet for up to one year.
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