Christmas Cinnamon Pickles!
I think you can tell that I am on a “canning kick”! I get that way when the weather cools off and there are lots and lots of garden veggies that are just asking to be preserved for those winter months.
Even if you are in a cold weather climate and your garden has long since disappeared….you can still make these pickles by buying regular cucumbers at your supermarket.
You don’t need the small pickling cucumbers! 🙂
This recipe has been in my recipe file for years and years and I remember my grandmother making these for Christmas as they are so bright red from the cinnamon and red hots.
They almost look like glass and are almost too pretty to eat.
I have made these from time to time, but I have to tell you they do have a process that takes some time…actually over 5 days.
Before you turn away and say…too much work for my busy days…let me say that there is only one small task each day and then you return to your regular activities ignoring the pickles.
Let me show you the easy steps.
First, you will need cucumbers which you will peel and seed.
This is relatively easy, just use a spoon to scrape out the seeds of the cucumber much like you would a cantaloupe.
Then you cut into strips and then cubes.
You will need pickling lime and alum which can be found in your supermarket.
After cutting into cubes (or you can leave the long strips)….you add about 8 quarts of cold water into a glass bowl along with the lime…then add the cucumbers.
Let the cucumbers set in the lime water for 24 hours.
The next day (day 2) drain the lime water off and discard.
Wash the cucumbers and cover again with cold water and ice and soak for about 4 hours.
Drain and rinse again.
Then you make your brine mixture…add your cucumbers and simmer.
Drain them and make the syrup and add to the cucumbers and simmer some more.
Then you let the cucumbers stand overnight.
Day 3…drain the syrup from the cucumbers and reheat the syrup, and pour back over the cucumbers.
Day 4 Repeat the same process.
My dear readers, Have you made pickles?
- Cucumbers (about 32 medium size, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 2 cups of lime
- 8 1/2 quarts of water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 ounce of red food coloring
- 1 tablespoon alum
- 4 cups vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 15 cups sugar
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 1 pkg of red hots (about 1 cup)
- Combine cucumber cubes, lime, and water and let set at room temperature over night (at least 24 hours) stirring occasionally.
- Drain and rinse and soak 3 additional hours in clear water and drain.
- Mix 1 cup of the vinegar, red food coloring, and alum.
- Place the cucumber cubes in large stockpot and cover with water.
- Add the above food coloring mixture and simmer for 2 hours
- Drain and discard all the liquid
- To the stockpot, add the 4 cups of vinegar, 4 cups of water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and red hots. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. (You will use this mixture to pour over the cucumber cubes everyday for 3 days)
- I place my cucumber cubes in an old crock that I have had for many years...but you can use any large container you may have.
- After bringing the red hot mixture to a boil, I pour the mixture over the cucumber cubes in my crock. Cover with cheesecloth and let set in a cool place for 24 hours.
- The next day, pour off the liquid from the cucumber cubes and into a saucepan. Reheat to boiling.
- Pour the liquid over the drained cucumber cubes, cover and repeat the process for two more days (3 days total)
- On the 4th day, place the cucumber cubes and the syrup liquid into a large stockpot and boil the entire combined mixture for about 5 minutes.
- Ladle the cucumbers into sterilized jars (and lids), adding enough syrup to each jar to keep cucumber cubes in liquid.
- Place sealed jars in a "canner" (or stockpot of boiling water) and process for 20 minutes.
- I use quart jars as these cinnamon pickles do not last long once opened. They are that good and well worth the extra effort it takes to make.
- This recipe makes about 7 quarts of the cinnamon pickles...but you may use pint jars if you prefer.
Renee Roberts says
I bought a jar of these from an elderly lady who I met at an FHA event years ago. She and her husband would bring me a case every year. One year she didn’t deliver and I learned she had passed away. I was never able to find anyone who made them. I would open a jar and everyone would want to know where I purchased them…They were so crispy and so colorful..and full of cinnamon flavor….yum!
Thank you for sharing..Will you make me some? Lol
Kathy Borchert says
Getting ready to try your Christmas pickles. Can you tell me how many pounds of cucumbers you use
Geraldine Franklin says
I want to make these but I only have small pickling cucumbers 🙁 Can I use those ?
Ashley Keller says
I can’t find pickling lime in my area, and when I looked it up online it’s no longer recommend for use. Any thoughts on how to make this recipe with pickle crisp?
You can find Mrs. Wages Pickling lime at Ace hardware stores and if there is none in your area, pickling lime is on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Wages-Pickling-1-Pound- $2.48.
I haven’t heard that it is not recommended as it has been around for years.
I would imagine pickle crisp would have the same ingredients as the pickling lime although I have never tried it, but I would try it and see if it works. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how it works out if you use the pickle crisp.
I’m just wondering, could I use cinnamon hearts instead of red hots? I can’t seem to find red hots in the store 🙁
You might have to look in the cooking spice section of your grocery store…I know Wal-Mart carries the red hots as does CVS and Walgreens down here.
I have never made the pickles with cinnamon hearts, although they could be tthe same thing as a red hot. If they are small hard red candies, I believe that would work. Let me know how it works out if you use them. thanks for stopping by.
Hillary I think the cinnamon hearts you’re thinking of are probably gummy Candy similar to cinnamon bears? Those wouldn’t work. These are small and red about the size of Skittles. Brachs makes some called “cinnamon imperials”. I’ve used them in place of the red hots brand. You could also check the rack of store brand candy bags in clear packages that you can see the candies and find the store brand version. Any brand should work.
thanks Amelia, the cinnamon bears, etc. would not have enough of the cinnamon flavor as well as being “gummy”…some might melt down but I wouldn’t want to try it.
Debra Beall says
Making these for the second time , everyone was a little iffy at first. I’ve made them in tx but not in Indiana. One taste of them now they’re hooked lol I can’t keep up with demand
These pickles are so good and I’m glad you like them. I love them and cannot keep them because everyone else loves them too. LOL
My grandmother made pickles, but I don’t remember this recipe. It sounds great.
They are sweet and pretty too!
I could eat a jar by myself….but I try to pace myself! 🙂
Thanks for stoppin’ by Sandy