Starters · Uncategorized

The Easy Way Out

Brown Sugar Pickles 1

There’s something about canning that has an air of nostalgia to it. Perhaps your grandparents were the ones who first introduced you to this idea. Or, your parents perhaps. Neither one of us comes from a family of canners, but we do have interest. It’s the perfect way to preserve seasonal freshness of fruits or vegetables when they are at their peak. Almost anything can be canned–tomatoes, beans, peaches, rinds and seeds. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to have food at the tips of your fingers when their season for availability may be far off. Sometimes, though, you just can to can. Not because you necessarily want summer corn in the dead of winter, but just because you want something to break through the boredom of a slow Saturday afternoon. Unequipped with tongs and mason jars, you can still pull off a means of veggie preservation. You can always find a way around an obstacle.

Pickles, oh sweet pickles. Cucumbers packed in a sweet, salty brine that adds flavor of course and also provides short-term preservation. This is the easy way to do your own canning in a pinch. These jars are not boiled, filled, sealed and boiled again. If you’re willing to shorten the amount of time you can hold on to your goodies, try this quick ‘can’ method, also called refrigerator pickles. Save leftover lidded jars, pack them with your food, brine and seal. You have pickled in a pinch. Pickling spices can be found at any grocery store. Most of the ingredients are the same–cloves, black peppercorns, allspice, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, fennel seeds, celery seeds, caraway seeds–and you can adjust the flavors you want by adding additional whole spices. As for the cuke, choose one without the waxy skin on American cucumbers. Persian and English varieties are great. Diana from Diana Takes a Bite just used Persian cukes also for her pickles not too long ago. The goal was to end up with a sweet pickle to rival those at Joan’s on Third–one that will make any sweet pickle fan buy four cases at a time from the shop. Brown sugar, molasses and apple cider vinegar add a rich, pleasing flavor that evens out the back end bite from extra red pepper flakes. Give them away or eat them all yourself. With a canning method like this, you can do it whenever the desire calls.

Brown Sugar Pickles 2

Spicy Brown Sugar Pickles – Approximately four 12-ounce jars
8 large Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/8″ slices
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons pickling spices
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1. Toss the cucumber and onion slices together in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Wash, rinse and completely dry four 12-ounce jars with lids. Evenly distribute the cucumbers and onions between the bottles. Set aside.

3. Pour the remaining ingredients into a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to low boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir well, making sure all of the sugar has dissolved, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Once the liquid has cooled, carefully divide the brine between all four jars. Apply the lids and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Eat the pickles within two weeks.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


27 thoughts on “The Easy Way Out

  1. Oh, I love homemade pickles… but I haven’t made any myself yet, still trying to locate little cucumbers I could use for my Polish recipe… but no luck since I came to UK 6 years ago 🙂

  2. I’ve had the cupcakes and cookies from Joan’s on Third, but never the pickles. Wow, so they are THAT good, huh? Must try some on my next trip south. 😉

  3. Those look amazing! My mom and grandma canned growing up – my grandma had grapes in her backyard and we’d pick them as kids (eating half as many as we picked!) and then squished the grapes in our hands to release the juice – to this day its the best grape jelly I’ve ever had – probably because it was made with my grandmas love!

    I lucked out at a garage sale about 10 years ago – a woman was selling ALL of her canning equipment – canner, jars, rubber tongs – everything for $20! I asked her if she didn’t have someone in her family that would want it all and she said “my daughters think canning is for old people.” So sad, but their loss was my gain!

    Now I can salsa, tomato sauce – nothing like opening a jar of salsa in December when we have 10 inches on the ground!

  4. I’ve never done any canning before, but I do love pickles…. And spicy brown sugar pickles sound absolutely incredible!! I might have to try now…

  5. Waw, …these canned spiced pickles look so tasty, pretty & lovely at the same time!

    I do have a question: With what do you eat it? Because , we don’t can as much in Belgium. How do you eat it? Cold from the can? With meat or pork?

  6. Awwwww…Joan’s on third I never had the pickles there but I can only imagine. Your recipe sounds amazing, brown sugar, molasses. It looks great.

  7. I have never canned but I want to give it a try. These pickles look awesome and I can only imagine how good and crispy it will be to bite through them.

    Is it heinous that I’d like to try these on a perfectly grilled burger? I mean I know they are perfection on their own but it is small touches like this that rock a burger.

  8. I would never have thought to make pickles with brown sugar! How clever! I may have to try that the next time I do some pickling! 🙂

  9. I just got a bunch of little cucumbers from my CSA, and I was thinking of pickling them. Perfect timing! I like the quick pickle method too, and I won’t need to store them for long since they disappear quickly.

  10. This post reminds me of an Aunt’s bread and butter pickles. Your version with the brown sugar is a sweet idea. I love the resurgence of homemade pickle recipes on the food blogs.

  11. I adore quick pickling. This way I don’t have to stress out that I’m giving myself some kind of poisoning and can just enjoy the delicious briny veggies, bacteria-free. These look awesome!

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