Julie Hutson sent me this handed down recipe a few years back and I posted it under “guest posts” on SouthernPlate. My mother and I quickly got to making these Sassy and Sweet Pickles and found they were the best pickles we’d ever eaten – tasting like the old fashioned ones my grandmother used to spend weeks creating! Over the past few years, I’ve developed my own way of making them and simplified it a bit for me (I tend to simplify everything but my household clutter, go figure) and so I decided that I just HAD to bring this recipe to y’all for the benefit of everyone who has never tasted a truly wonderful sweet and sassy pickle.
You are in for a treat – and very likely the best pickle you’ve ever had in your life.
Whenever I share this recipe with folks who aren’t familiar with it, I often get confused looks and statements like “Sooo you’re taking pickles…and making pickles. I don’t get it.” Well, that’s actually not the case at all. What we are doing is taking store bought pickles and making REALLY GOOD pickles out of them. See the difference? ~winks and grins~
So without further ado, let’s make this Sassy and Sweet Recipe!
You’ll need: Sugar, White Vinegar, Pickling Spice, and WHOLE Dill Pickles.
When Julie gave me the recipe she said she always used Vlasic. Mama and I quickly found that my area grocery stores often run buy one get one free on Vlasic so we just started getting those whenever they ran the sale. However, I am soooo very tempted to get that big old jar of whole dills from Sam’s Club to make these and would have already if the thing wasn’t too big to fit in my fridge.
~pauses and gazes at the horizon wistfully~
Oh, how I long for a new refrigerator….but it is not gonna happen this year or next.
~clears her throat and gets back in the game~
So you don’t have to use this brand, this is just the brand we use, but you do have to use whole dill pickles.
Drain off all of your pickle juice into a bowl and remove all of the pickles from the jar.
I’m using a big bowl because, while I’m showing you how to do this with one jar, I’m actually making four jars today. I got two for me and two for Mama on the BOGO sale. See what a good daughter I am? If you ever have the opportunity to be a good daughter, of course you should. Especially when it is as easy as making your Mama Sweet Sassy Pickles. And then think of the fun I’ll have walking into her house with two jars and calling out “Mama, I got yo Sweet Sassy Pickles!!” in my deepest Southern drawl. Like one of those horribly overplayed Southern characters from one of those horrendous movies directed, filmed, and produced by people who have never actually been to the South but trust what they have learned about it from other horrendous “Southern” movies. If there were a hidden camera as I walked into Mama’s house with the pickles, I bet they’d even subtitle it when it aired. They like to subtitle Southerners…
But I digress. Sweet, Sassy, Mama…let’s get back to it!
Now, to that jar I want you to add 1/2 cup pickle juice, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 3 cups sugar.
(recipe is at the bottom of this post)
But Christy, that’s an awful lot of sugar!
Yes, it sure is. Which is why I do not suggest you drink the juice. If you do, at least serve it after dinner and over ice.
Give that a jar a good shaky shake.
Aww come on, you can do better than that, put your arms into it!
There ya go!
Oh…I sure do hope you knew to put the lid on it before you did that
If not, clean up the sticky pickle juice and learn from your mistakes.
Add your pickling spice. You can add this before or after you shake it.
It don’t make no never mind.
(bonus points for triple negative)
Some people tie them up in cheesecloth. Mama ties hers up in a bit of muslin (which is a plain cotton fabric). I just toss mine in there because I like the added zest of biting into a peppercorn and such from time to time.
Plus, I think they look prettier that way.
Now cut up all those pickles into slices. You can cut them thin or thick, whichever you like best. I like mine a little thicker because it means I don’t have to eat as many 😉
“But I just had four little ol’ pickle slices.” (that were 1/2″ thick….)
Put all of your pickles back into the jar.
Now class, on the rare occasion that one or two slices don’t fit, what do you do?
That’s right! You eat them! It is good to have a taste comparison anyway so you can see what the frog was like before he became the prince.
Put your lid on the jar. At this point, you’ll see a good bit of undissolved sugar at the bottom. I sit my jars out on the counter for a few hours and turn them upside down every hour or so to help with this.
Like this. In a few hours, most of that sugar will be dissolved. The rest will take place over the next day or so. Before you go to bed, put the jar in the fridge. In the morning, look and see if you need to turn it over again.
All of the recipes for this say to wait anywhere from 3-5 days before your pickles are ready.
But seriously, how do you wait that long? Go ahead and try a few the next day, they will be awfully good by then and they just get better every day after. They’ll have their full flavor in about three days.
Have Mercy! They sure are good!
- Sweet Sassy Pickles
- 46 ounce jar Whole Dill Pickles
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup pickle juice from jar
- 3 Cups sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon Pickling Spice
- Drain all pickle juice from jar into a bowl, set aside. Remove pickles from jar.
- Into that pickle jar pour 1/2 cup of reserved pickle juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 3 cups sugar, and pickling spice.
- Put lid on tightly and give it a good shake. Sugar will not be dissolved but that is okay.
- Slice whole pickles into slices, thick or thin, based on your preference. Return pickles to jar.
- Place lid on jar and shake again. Set out on counter for a few hours, turning upside down every hour or so, and then right side up again the next hour. Place pickles in refrigerator after a few hours. Allow to marinate for about three days for full flavor.
The cure for anything is salt water: tears, sweat, or the sea.
Submitted by Sandra Smith. Click here to submit your own.