Open and pour all the dill pickle juice out of the gallon jar. Squeeze each pickle gently to remove as much brine as possible, and place them in a bowl to be rinsed and dried.
Measure and save the dill pickle juice to pour around acid-loving plants like Azaleas. Write down the amount of juice you poured off the pickles. Wash the gallon jar, and save it for another use.
Wash and allow to dry 6-7 pint canning jars or 3 wide-mouthed quart jars. You want to sterilize them just as you would for canning anything. Use new caps and good rings.
Measure the amount of apple-cider vinegar based on the amount you removed from the dill pickles and add it to a large enough non-reactive pot. Stainless steel works best for me. You can use enamel if you have it.
Add twice as much sugar as you needed of the apple cider vinegar and 2 heaping Tbsp. of whole dried allspice berries.
Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
While your vinegar is heating, cut up your whole dill pickles any way you like. We like them in 1 inch rounds or cut the pickle longways into fourths to make sticks. Feel free to cut them any way you like.
Pat them dry on paper towels and pack them into your jars. Do not pack tight. You can add some onion if you like. Pickled onion is a delicious addition, but not required.
When your vinegar is boiling, carefully pour it over the cut pickles in the jars and put the lids and rings on securely. Turn each jar upside down and leave them right there on the counter top overnight. I usually place them on a clean towel in a plastic dishpan, just in case of a leak. But I've never had a leak, so I'm not sure why I keep doing it. Sure as the world, if I didn't do it, I'd have heavy sugar juice all over the counter top. Murphy's Law.
The following day, drain all the juice out of each jar back into a pot leaving the pickles in the jars. Bring the sweet brine to a boil again, and again pour over the pickles. Add the lids and rings, turn them upside down, and leave overnight.
The following day, repeat Day 2's actions. Leave the jars of pickles upright until they are cool, then refrigerate. They'll be ready to eat in 7 days. You will never want any other sweet pickle.
I make up extra brine of apple-cider vinegar with sugar and whole allspice and keep it in quart jars in a cabinet to use to pickle good vidalia onions, canned beets, canned green or wax beans, carrots, bell peppers, or even a mixture of vegetables. Keep in the fridge for a week before serving. They make a wonderful addition to any meal.
Source: My dear precious friend Miss Etta who befriended us while we were in Michigan. She made these pickles every year just before their 4th of July celebration's picnic. She'd give them away to all of us when we went home from her party. That lady was one of the most wonderful people I've ever met, in more ways than I can tell you.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
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Thank you for another great sounding recipe Julia. I wish you'd write a book.
I'll be adding onions to mine, and if I slice them thin, the hot vinegar mix should just about cook them enough to soften them some. I love allspice.
Thank you for the recipe and other advice.
I am looking forward to trying these pickles Julia. I love the flavor of allspice without it's being in a mixture with other pickling spices, some of which I don't care for. I notice that you didn't mention removing them either, so I'm guessing you just leave them in the brine.
Have you ever used mustard and celery seeds in with the allspice? I might try that one day. Do you have a recipe for making your own chunky mustard? I had a friend who made her own mustard starting out with just plain yellow ballpark mustard, and it was the best mustard I've ever tasted. I missed getting a recipe from her.
Thank you for the sweet pickle recipe and hopefully for a good chunky mustard recipe as well.
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