We eat a lot of pickles and I just cannot seem to master making good pickles. Several folks have sent me tried and true family heirloom recipes and mine just never measure up so I have kinda sworn off making pickles from scratch but my favorite, above every pickle I’ve ever tried, is to make sweet pickles from storebought dill pickles.
It’s so easy and, it sounds like a lot of sugar, and it is a lot of sugar, and I pretend I’m not cutting back on sugar when it comes time to eat these pickles. They have to be stored in the fridge and they’re so cold and so crunchy and so good!
I chop them up and use them in tuna and chicken salad. I love them on burgers and sandwiches and they’re so good served alongside smoked meats.
The basic recipe is in the recipe box below but I love adding garlic and jalapeno peppers, as well as a bit of horseradish – not in the same jar. The easiest and most common way to make these is to put the sliced pickles and all the other ingredients back in the original pickle jar but since I add jalapeno and garlic to some, and horseradish to others, I put mine in Mason jars and end up with several jars, which makes it easier when it comes to serving anyway.
They need to sit out on the counter for at least 24 hours. Mine usually sit out a bit longer, at least til all the sugar is dissolved. Then they go into the fridge and they need to stay refrigerated. I’ve heard that they will last several months in the fridge. Don’t do as I do but . . through the years, from time to time, I’d find a jar that had been lost in the fridge and had been in there way longer than several months and we survived.
Anything you like could be added to the jars: cinnamon stick, hot pepper flakes, sliced onion, just to name a few. Also, a lot of recipes call for adding pickling spices. The recipe my friend gave me many, many years ago did not include pickling spices and I’ve never added them.
One word of caution: I am not a name brand buyer but once I bought an off brand in a plastic jar and those pickles never were crunchy so now I stick with one of the main brands of pickles.
- 1 - 80 oz. jar of whole dill pickles
- 5-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup pickle juice
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- Jalapeno slices
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Drain the pickles, reserving the pickling liquid.
- Slice the pickles into about 1/4 to 1/2" slices. They don't have to be uniform.
- Place the sliced pickles back in the pickle jar.
- If adding optional ingredients, layer (but you don't have to -- you're going to shake the jars and everything is going to get mixed in).
- Add the sugar, vinegar and pickling liquid.
- Replace the lid and make sure it's very tight.
- Shake or roll the jar several times a day.
- Leave sitting on the counter for about 24 hours until sugar is dissolved.
- Store in the fridge and use within a month of making.
- Do not open until after the third day. It takes this long for the flavors to mingle and to get the best flavored/textured pickles.
- During the colder months, it sometimes takes about 48 hours for the sugar to dissolve but during the summer, it's usually done well before 24 hours.