Home canning lime pickles is fun and delicious way to use up all the cucumbers. One of our favorite recipes for pickles that cannot be purchased in the store. You will need about 7 pounds of small, young, firm cucumbers (or two gallons sliced cucumbers), a large bowl, stock pot, jars, flats, rings, a small bowl, a paring knife, table knife, a roll of paper towels and a timer. You will also need pickling lime, sugar, white vinegar, salt, whole cloves, pickling spice, celery seed, alum (optional) and mustard seed.
Preparation For Home Canning Lime Pickles
As with all home canning projects, jars should be washed and rinsed thoroughly then fill a few at a time with hot or boiling water at least half way to the top of the jar. Jars need to remain hot until they are used. Flats should also be soaking in hot water in a small bowl until they are used. Flats are the flat disc part of the lid of the jar, should never be re-used. Always use new flats. The rings and jars can be used repeatedly.
Before home canning lime pickles, wash the cucumbers with cool water and slice. Dissolve dissolve 2 cups of pickling lime into 2 gallons of water (or 1 cup per gallon). Make sure that the lime is dissolved before you add the cucumber slices. Soak the cucumber slices in the pickling lime solution for 24 hours. After 24 hours, drain the cucumber slices and rinse well 3-4 times. Cover them with cold water and let stand for 3 hours more, rinse well again. Drain and cover with the vinegar solution of: 8c white vinegar, 9c sugar, 1T salt, 1T whole cloves, 1t mixed pickling spice, 1t celery seed, 1t mustard seed and 1/2t alum (optional). Let the cucumber slices soak in the vinegar solution overnight.
Place the cucumber slices and vinegar solution in a stock pot and boil for 40 minutes. (The pickle slices should become clear approximately 2 hours.) Pack in clean, sterilized hot jars.
Home Canning Lime Pickles Or Processing Lime Pickles
Take a hot jar, pour out the water (or pour it into another jar, if it is still hot), put the pickle slices into the empty hot jar. Fill the jar until you have about two inches of “head” space above the pickles. Then, pour in enough of the hot vinegar solution to cover the pickles. Allow for half an inch of head space above the solution and pickles.
After placing the pickles in the hot jar, run a clean table knife down the inside of the jar along the side in two or three places to gently remove any air bubbles that may have been trapped by the solution.
Wipe the mouth of the jar with a wet clean paper towel. Use the tongs to remove a flat from the hot water in the small bowl. Place a hot flat on the top of the jar and then screw the ring on the top of the flat and jar until the ring is hand tight. Repeat until you have used all your sliced pickles. The jars should seal on their own if packed boiling hot. The flats will sink down in the middle and you will hear a popping sound when they seal. Refrigerate any cool jars that did not seal on their own when home canning lime pickles.
Hints For Home Canning
Run a pot of clean water through the brew cycle of your coffee pot, you can use this always heated water to fill the jars and and pour over the flats.