Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nana's Icicle Pickles

Today I'm sharing an "almost homemade" sweet pickle recipe made from kosher dill pickles. This recipe came from my Mother, known as Nana by her grandchildren. I don't know where the recipe came from, but it has been around so long, my Mother used a typewriter to write it down for me. I love being able to make these knowing that it is her recipe. If you like the taste of an old fashioned, homemade sweet pickle, this is the pickle for you! Please note that it takes several days for the pickles to get the full, rich flavor that makes them so yummy, so be sure to plan ahead. I have included step by step instructions with the full recipe at the end of this post. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Easy to make homemade sweet yummy!
Ingredients bought kosher dills, vinegar, sugar and pickling spice
Rinse and drain the pickles
I like to cut them into chips but you can cut them into spears if you prefer
Place the cut pickles into a bowl and alternate layers with sugar. This does not have to be exact and if you prefer, you can just add all of the sugar on the top at the end
Pickles and sugar
Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours. You may need to stir once or twice as the sugar settles at the bottom of the bowl
Be sure to save the jar!
The pickles start to make yummy, sweet juice
Sweet, juicy goodness
Transfer the pickles into the saved jar and reserve the juice
Pour the reserved juice into a small saucepan
Add the vinegar
and the pickling spices
Spices include cinnamon, allspice, cloves, mustard seed and ginger
Warm over low heat until boiling and the sugar is mother used to say that you can tell by the smell when it's ready. The spices and vinegar have a wonderful, strong aroma!
Pour the hot juice and spice mixture over the pickles
Cover the jar and refrigerate for at least 2 days. This is the hard part...I have a problem with this. I am addicted to these pickles and snitch them while they are marinating in their juicy goodness!
After at least 2 days, transfer to a pretty jar and enjoy!

Nana's Icicle Pickles
  • Drain and discard the juice from a 46 ounce jar of Kosher Dill Pickles and save the pickle jar
  • Slice pickles into spears or chips and place in a glass bowl
  • Cover with 2 cups of sugar, either alternating layers with the pickles or all on top of the cut pickles
  • Tightly cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stir once or twice if the sugar settles to the bottom of the bowl
  • After 24 hours, place pickles back in the jar without the juice 
  • Pour the juice into a small saucepan and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1T pickling spice
  • Warm over low heat until boiling and sugar is dissolved. You can tell by the deep, rich aroma that it is done
  • Pour the hot liquid over the pickles in the jar
  • Refrigerate for 2 days before serving...the longer they are refrigerated, the better the flavor. Enjoy!
  • Note - pickles make juice from sugar in the first 24 hours 

My Mother presenting the cake on my 2nd birthday!

 Please let me know how you like them...I appreciate your comments. 
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I had a recipe (old and secret) from my mom handed down to her from an elderly Scandinavian friend. That recipe was similar to your recipe except that the sugar and vinegar was added without cooking it. The pickles had to sit on the counter for several days until the sugar dissolved. I'm going to try your recipe but I hope I can find mine eventually. Everyone absolutely loves them. In the past, I have placed them in a pretty container and given them out as gifts at Christmas time. Thank you for sharing. Considering all that is out there on Pinterest your recipe is the only one that is close. I'm Doodlelub on Pinterest. Thanks again.

  2. Thank you so much for including every single picture of the whole process! It makes it super easy to see what I'm doing and make sure I'm doing it correctly if I have a picture to guide me along every step of the way. This looks like a great recipe! I can't wait to try it at home.

  3. Today I just put our second batch in the refrigerator! We love them. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.