Who has 14 days to make icicle pickles? You do, that’s who. Because, while it takes two weeks to make these delicious sweet pickles, you only need a few minutes each day to create this delicious condiment.
I was gifted a 2 gallon crock a couple of Christmases ago. While it definitely is the ideal tool for the job, don’t worry if you don’t have one. Any non-porous, food safe container will do. A large plastic container, like a commercial ice cream container, will work in a pinch. Just keep in mind that you will need to find a plate whose diameter allows you to fit it inside your chosen vessel.
These pickles do not need to be canned or refrigerated. They have been preserved in the brine and sugar enough that further processing is not necessary. I keep mine in a large jar, with a tight fitting lid, in our basement.
Cassia buds are possibly the only exotic ingredient here. It resembles a whole clove and is a member of the cinnamon family. In fact, they are the unopened flowers of the cinnamon tree. You can see what they look like on my Instagram account.
14 Day Icicle Pickles
14 Day Icicle Pickles like grandma used to make - except you can make them too. Requiring only a few minutes a day, the end result is a delicious condiment to enjoy all winter long
- 4 quarts cucumbers, approximately 3-4" long, stem end removed
- 1 cup pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons alum
- 1 quart white vinegar
- 6+3 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cassia buds
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- Green food colouring (optional)
Fill a 2 gallon crock with whole cucumbers. Cucumbers should fill the crock to within 2-3" of the top
Stir in 1 cup of pickling salt
Cover with cold water
Cover with a crock lid or a plate and a jar filled with water. Drape a clean tea towel over the entire crock
Stir day. Replace plate and weight, as well as tea towel
Drain the cucumbers and replace into the crock. Cover in boiling water. Plate, weight, and cover
Slice cucumbers (I like to cut them into quarters or spears)
Combine 2 tablespoons of alum with 8 cups of boiling water.
Plate, weight, and cover
Drain. Cover in clear boiling water
Drain cucumbers and place back in crock
Syrup making day! Combine 1 quart of white vinegar and 6 cups of sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan. In a square of doubled cheese cloth, place cassia buds and celery seed. Secure tightly into a pouch shape and place in syrup. Bring to a boil and pour over pickles. Plate, weight, and cover.
Note: At this point, you can begin adding food colouring, if desired
Each day, pour the syrup and spice bag back into a sauce pan. Add 1 additional cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Pour back over pickles each day. Plate, weight, and cover.
If you are using food colouring, you may need to add some additional colouring each day to reach the desired colour.
Congratulations! You have icicle pickles! Pack in a jar (or several) with tight fitting lids