Quick Nine Day Sweet Pickles

Nine Day Pickles

August approaches and the Farmers’ Market is filled with freshly picked corn, beets, peaches, nectarines, beans and so much more.  Cherries are almost finished and we are into the ever bearing strawberries…

I was at the market last week and spied heaping baskets of pickling cucumbers.  I could not resist making a batch of Quick Nine Day Sweet Pickles.

fresh pickling cucumbers

Fresh Pickling Cucumbers

I know you are wondering why they are called Quick Nine Day Sweet Pickles.  In traditional recipes, it was a nine day process.  So perhaps this recipe should be called Two Day Sweet Pickles.

To get crisp pickles you need to start with fresh, just-picked cucumbers.  If the cucumbers cannot be used immediately upon picking, refrigerate them.

Vegetables become soft as their pectin structure changes due to microbial activity, excess heat or improper handling. If a vegetable becomes soft it cannot be made firm again.

This recipe also calls for a teaspoon of alum.  Traditionally, alum is added for crispness.  Current thought is that it has little crispness affect on quick-process pickles.  That being said, I am not willing to take a chance, so have continued to include it in this recipe.

These pickles will be a special reminder of summer, when August turns to December (if they last that long!)

Quick Nine Day Pickles

Serves Makes 10 500 ml jars of pickles
Inspiration LCBO magazine



  • 1 4 L (or quart) heaping basket pickling cucumbers
  • 1 cup pickling salt (dissolved in 6 cups of boiling water)


  • 1 Tsp powdered alum
  • cold water to cover

Sugar Syrup

  • 2 Cups white vinegar
  • 4 Cups cider vinegar
  • 2 Cups water
  • 8 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups mixed pickling spice


Wash the pickles in cold water.
Nine Day Pickles - wash
Cut cucumbers into ½ inch rounds.
Nine Day Pickles - cut the cukes
Place in a large crock or stainless steel pail. Add pickling salt, which has been dissolved in the boiling water and add additional boiling water to cover. Let stand overnight.
Nine Day Pickles - Brining
Drain off the brine in the morning. The cucumbers will have lost their bright green colour and will now be a muted green.

Place cucumbers in preserving kettle or large pot.

Cover with cold water and add powdered alum. Place on stove over high heat and bring to boiling point but do not boil.
Immediately remove from stove and drain well.
Nine Day Pickles - Crisping
To make syrup, combine the vinegars, water, sugar and pickling spice in a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat and boil for 10 minutes.
Nine Day Pickles - making the syrup
Prepare for the canning process.

Fill the boiling water preserving kettle with enough water to cover the top of the jars, cover and bring to a boil.

Wash ten 500 ml canning jars. Rinse with water and then fill with boiling water.

Place ten sealing lids in a pot and bring to a gentle boil.
Drain each jar, just before you pack in the cucumbers and cover with hot syrup, leaving ¼ inch (5 mm) headroom.

Wipe the edge of the top of the jar to remove any spilled syrup.

Using tongs, remove a lid from the boiling water. Place evenly on top of the jar and screw the lid on the jar.
Place jars on the preserving kettle rack and gently lift them into the preserving kettle. If the tops are not covered with water, top up the level with more boiling water. Cover and process for 10 minutes.
Nine Day Pickles - fill the jars
Lift the rack out of the preserving kettle and place the jars on a heat proof stand to cool.
Nine Day Pickles
If you do not care to have the pickling spices in your finished pickles. Tie the mixed pickling spices in cheese cloth and remove after preparing the syrup.

Comments are closed.