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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Vegetables and Herbs > Sweet Gherkin Pickles

Vegetables and Herbs

Sweet Gherkin Pickles

William Schafer, Extension Specialist and Associate Professor — Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Reviewed 2014 by Deb Botzek-Linn, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

See making fermented pickles and sauerkraut for safety precautions and details on equipment needed.


Yield: 6 to 7 pints


  1. Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave ¼ inch of stem attached.
  2. Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.
  3. 6 to 8 hours later—Drain; add 1/4 cup salt and cover with fresh boiling water, and on the second day—Drain; add 1/4 cup salt and cover with fresh boiling water.
  4. On the third day:
    • Drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork.
    • Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.
    • Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles.
  5. On the fourth day:
    • Drain and save syrup.
    • Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boil and pour over pickles.
    • 6 to 8 hours later, drain and save pickling syrup. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla and heat to boil.
    • Fill sterile pint jars* with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
    • Adjust lids and process as below, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment.

*To sterilize empty jars, put them right side up on the rack in a boiling water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Boil 11 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time.

Recommended process for sweet gherkin pickles

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