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Old-Fashioned 9-Day Sweet Pickles Recipe

These mouth-watering sweet pickles are so delicious we nicknamed them "candy pickles!" They've been a favorite in our family for generations!
Prep Time 9 d
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 9 d 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 quarts


  • Large Dutch Oven
  • Large saucepan


  • 2 Gallons Medium Size Cucumbers
  • 2 Cups Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Powdered Alum
  • 3 Gallons Water 1 gallon of water per day for first 3 days
  • 1 Gallon Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Pickling Spice Or 1 small box
  • 7 Pounds Sugar You may not need quite that much, but you will use a lot


Day 1

  • Wash the cucumbers and use a fork to poke holes in the skin. My Granny said to do this about 9 times on each cucumber, so that's what I do.
  • Place the cucumbers in the bottom of a large enamel pan -- I used a Dutch oven.
  • In a separate large pot on the stovetop, combine the salt with a gallon of water and bring to a boil. Stir until the salt dissolves. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers and allow to sit for 24 hours.
  • TIP: Sometimes the cucumbers will float, so I use a pot lid weighted down with a rock to keep them fully submerged in the salt water.

Day 2

  • Drain salt water from the pot of cucumbers.
  • Mix the powdered alum and one gallon of water in a large pot on the stovetop. Bring to a boil, then pour over the cucumbers and allow to stand for 24 hours.

Day 3

  • Drain the alum water from the pot of cucumbers. Rinse and drain again.
  • Bring a gallon of plain water to boil, then pour over the cucumbers in the enamel pot. Soak for 24 hours.

Day 4

  • Drain cucumbers.
  • Combine the vinegar and pickling spices in a large pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the vinegar on top of the cucumbers and soak for 5 days.

Days 5-8

  • Continue soaking cucumbers in vinegar.
  • Stir occasionally.

Day 9

  • Drain cucumbers.
  • Slice cucumbers about 1/4-1/2" thick, depending on your preference, and place in a colander to continue draining.
  • Layer cucumbers in a large casserole dish, alternating layers of cucumbers and sugar.
  • Allow the cucumbers to soak in the sugar syrup for at least 24 hours before canning.

Days 10-12

  • I usually soak my pickles in the sugar syrup for about 3 days, but it doesn't have to be exact. I just want to make sure to give the syrup time to develop before I divide up the pickles into jars for canning. I use a water bath canning method so I can keep the pickles in my pantry for a year or two, until I need them. They don't always last that long because they are requested by friends and family!
  • If any of the cans do not seal, or if you don't want to bother canning, you can keep these in the fridge for a couple months.
Keyword pickles
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