One Quart At A Time: Refrigerator Sweet Pickles

by Tammy Taylor~

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I planted pickler cucumbers in my garden this year and they’ve been producing well.  But I only planted one vine since there are only two of us at the house now & I didn’t want it to produce more than RancherMan & I could consume.  So each morning I go out to the garden and pick a few 3″ – 4″ pickling-sized cucumbers and set them in the fridge until I figure I have enough to make refrigerator pickles.  It doesn’t take long since I’m making them 1 quart jar at a time this year.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Now in the heat & humidity of our NE Texas summers I hate to fire up the canner so I often opt for refrigerator pickles instead.  Hey, whip ’em up & toss the jar in the fridge to let them get all pickley! What’s not to love??!!  I’ll let them sit in the fridge pickling for about a week or so and then bring them out of the fridge as a cooling condiment on a hot day with our supper.  I prefer to enjoy my homemade pickles as dill pickles but I’ve never successfully made a dill pickle brine that I care for, so I typically use *Mrs. Wages to make the dills.  But RancherMan really prefers sweet pickles instead and I do love my recipe for sweet pickle brine so I always make it up myself.  I’ve found an easy way to whip up a quart of sweet pickles for the refrigerator using a recipe that has just the right amount of sweetness for him without being too sweet for me.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Easy Refrigerator Sweet Pickles Recipe

First I whip up my brine by mixing into a small saucepan: 1 cup filtered water, 1/2 cup vinegar (5% acidity), 3/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons pickling spice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1-2 cloves garlic.  I stir it until it starts simmering to fully incorporate all ingredients, then turn the heat off and turn my attention to my cucumbers.

Preparing The Cucumbers

I like to pick my pickler cucumbers when they’re young & tender, about 3-4 inches long.  They’ve been stored in the fridge since I picked them so now I bring ’em out & wash and dry them, cut the ends off and then use my *crinkle cutter to cut them into thick 1/2-inch slices to drop into a wide mount quart canning jar. Hey, mama always said presentation is half the dish and I want them to look pretty! Depending upon how long the cucumbers are I typically can get 3-5 in the jar.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I always add at least one grapevine leaf because it’s been said that helps keep your pickles crisp.   Now I don’t know if it’s an old wives tale or not, all I’m sayin’ is that my pickles were always soft before, now they’re always crisp.  Coincidence??  You decide!

Now it’s time to pour the hot brine over the pickles covering them completely and put a lid on the jar.  I leave the jar sitting on the counter until it’s cool, then I wipe it down with a wet cloth to remove any sticky brine that may have dribbled onto the outside of the jar.  Before I put it in the fridge I use a permanent sharpie marker to write directly onto the glass jar since I want to know what kind of pickles are inside (sweet or dill) and when I made them.  This lets me know when they’ve been in the brine long enough to begin serving with our meals.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

If you shy away from sweet pickles because they’re so darn syrupy sweet, you’ll love these – lightly sweet and crispy as can be.  Sure I’ll share the recipe!

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe

(Per Quart Jar)

  • Enough sliced pickling cucumbers to fit into a quart-sized jar (About 4-5 small cucumbers)
  • Wide-mouth quart canning jar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh grapevine leaves – washed & patted dry

Mix all ingredients together except grapevine leaves and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Place grapevine leaves in bottom of a clean wide-mouth quart jar, add washed, sliced cucumbers.   Pour hot brine over cucumbers, place lid on jar & let pickles sit about 30 minutes to cool, then store in refrigerator. Can taste after 48 hours but they’re perfect for us in about a week.

Use within about 3 months.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

So there ya go.  I’m a big believer that delicious crisp homemade pickles need not be difficult nor expensive.  And since the garden doesn’t always crank those cukes out at the same rate this method works great since you can make ’em one quart jar at a time!  We always have a fresh supply of homemade pickles to enjoy throughout the summer.

~TMH~

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17 thoughts on “One Quart At A Time: Refrigerator Sweet Pickles

  1. Elaine

    I love refrigerator pickles…my recipe is slightly different and never heard of the grape vine leaf trick!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday Pinned!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      It sure seems to have done the trick for my pickles Elaine. I’m so glad we have a grapevine in the garden – the leaves are always available. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Becky @ vintagebeckym

    Thank You for sharing. One quart at a time would be perfect for this single lady. My dad use to put a grapevine leaf in his pickled okra, but I never knew why. I have a problem with my dill pickles being soft and mushy. Maybe this would work for them. Now to find a grapevine. Have a Fabulous Day. I found you over at Sustainable Sunday.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Becky! I have found my pickles are always crispy now with the addition of the grape leaves but I’m growing a concord grapevine so I always have fresh leaves available to me. Perhaps one of your friends or neighbors are growing grapes as well and would give you a stem from time to time? ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Helen Fern

    Love your blog and this post – am following you now!! Would love to have you come and share on the What’s for Dinner link up! http://www.lazygastronome.com/whats-for-dinner-sunday-link-up-56/

    Reply
  4. Stephanie

    Just made pickles yesterday but still have more cucumbers so I love this! And I had never heard the tip about the grapevine leaf – will have to try it!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Stephanie, it seems to be true. My pickles are always crisp now – try it! ~TMH~

      Reply
  5. Cynthia D

    This looks like a simple recipe. We are loaded with cucumbers and I have made several cases of pickles both dill and bread and butter. I am in the give away stage now, but a jar or 2 in the refrigerator would be nice now. My husband said plant a lot and I did and the rabbits most not like cucumbers because the have left them alone and eaten my green beans. Replanting beans today and adding a barrier to keep out rabbits. Thanks for the recipe

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Ugh – the rabbits are hard to tame aren’t they Cynthia?? My veggie garden is surrounded by fence so rabbits can’t get in there, but anything that is planted elsewhere is fair game to the rabbits. I thought I’d plant a small patch of green beans in the back yard and like you found that the rabbits loved them, all the way to the ground! ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. ColleenB.~Texas

    Your jar of pickles look great and like the crinkle cut as well. In place of grapevine leaf you could also use Ball Canning’s Pickle Crisp in place of the leaf; something that wasn’t available many years ago so a grapevine leaf was used. Using a leaf is an old timers trick that generally isn’t used today as much better methods are available. Some swear that it does make a difference in having crisps pickles and others never noticed the difference. It’s all in one’s preference I guess. Years ago when my mother canned pickles we had no grapevine leaves and they still turned out great. If I remember correctly; I think she used alum in her canned pickles. Removing a thin slice (1/16″) from the blossom end of each cucumber prior to pickling. Enzymes which cause softening are concentrated in the blossom end. Thanks 4 sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’m all about doing things the old way Colleen. I’d wondered if the grape leaves were an old wives tale but I have the grapevine so I figured I’d give it a go. Grape leaves are in every jar of pickles I make now, there’s no turning back for me. LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
    2. Ms. Ruth

      Using Alum is no longer considered safe. However, Ball puts out a Calcium Chloride product called Pickle Crisp to replace the Alum used. Basically you use this when Hot water bath processing pickles but not generally for refrigerator pickles. Grape leaves have natural Tannin in them and that works for crisping pickles when processing. I’d use grape leaves if I had a vine. This year I’ll go with Pickle Crisp for my pickles. Last years got a bit mushy after awhile.

      Reply
  7. Margy

    I didn’t plant cucumbers so I tried making some dill pickles with my zucchini. I picked small ones that could fit in my pint canning jars. I cut them in half and followed a recipe for raw packed canned pickles. I am waiting for them to absorb all the flavours before trying one. If they turn out okay I’ll post the results. I’m new to canning, so my experiments don’t always come out as tasty as expected. – Margy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’ve heard of others pickling their zucchini, Margy. Fingers crossed that you love the results! ~TMH~

      Reply

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