Sunday, July 14, 2013

Red Hot Cucumbers

7 lbs large cucumbers
1 c pickling line (calcium hydroxide) – not pickling salt
2 t red food coloring
1 t powdered alum
1 c distilled white vinegar
7 c white sugar
2 c distilled white vinegar
2 c water
1 c cinnamon red hot candies (cinnamon imperials)
4 cinnamon sticks

Peel cucumbers. Cut in half cross-wise. Using a knife or spoon, scrape out the seeds, then cut into ¼” slices. They should be in rings. Make sure they’ll fit in your canning jars. If they’re too big, you can cut them into half circles, but the full circles look better. Place the cucumbers in a glass or ceramic crock or big bowl. (Don’t use metal because the vinegar will pit it and the reaction with the metal may make the cucumbers bitter.) Dissolve the pickling lime in about a quart of room temperature water and pour it over the cucumbers. Add enough additional water so that the cucumbers are covered by about 1/2”. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

Drain the cucumbers and rinse well with cold water. Place them into a large stockpot (preferably enameled rather than exposed metal) and cover with cold water. Leave them alone for 3 hours then drain and rinse them again.

Return the cucumbers to the pot and add the red food coloring, the alum, 1 cup of vinegar, and enough water to cover by 1/2” inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Drain them, and let them cool just a bit before returning them to the original glass or ceramic crock.

Stir together the sugar, 2 cups vinegar, red hot candies, and cinnamon sticks over medium heat until the sugar and the candies dissolve. Pour over the still warm cucumbers, cover, and leave them overnight.

Pack pickles into pint jars, seal, and process in a hot water bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Refrigerate any jars that don’t seal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment