Cheater Sweet Pickles turn Store-Bought Sour Pickles Sweet
Years ago we learned how to transform jars of store-bought dill and sour pickles into delicious “cheater” home-style sweet pickles from our friend, the cookbook author Anne Byrn of Cake Mix Doctor fame. All you do is slice up whole dill or sour pickles and combine them with loads of sugar. After three days in the fridge, they magically turn into almost candied crisp sweet pickles. It’s a trend that became especially popular in Nashville with Anne’s mother’s generation of savvy hostesses who wanted to have a little something special on the holiday relish tray to pair with the Christmas country ham or to accent a turkey sandwich.
This isn’t just an old Nashville trend, either. Dayna Turney, a Nashville transplant from Houston, TX, makes a Texas-style cheater pickle loaded with garlic, Serrano peppers and a whole bottle of Tabasco. The Texas recipe came through Dayna’s sister’s mother-in-law, and now the sweet-hot Christmas pickles are coveted all over Nashville.
After learning about cheater sweet pickles from Anne, we got into the act by combining the pickles with pickled jalapeños, garlic and whole mustard seed. With the basic sugar to pickle ratio, you can add all kinds of fun ingredients like prepared horseradish, roasted peppers, pickling spices, sliced onion and turmeric.
The summer cucumbers may be long gone, but now’s the perfect time for holiday cheater pickling.
- One 32-ounce jar whole sour pickles, drained and thinly sliced
- One 16-ounce jar (or can) sliced pickled jalapeno peppers or sliced hot red peppers, drained
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons whole mustard seed
Combine all the ingredients in an extra large non-aluminum mixing bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Stir several times a day.
Pack in clean half-pint jars, seal and refrigerate. Makes about 6 jars.
Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 months.
Go ahead and play around with the seasonings. You can add pickling spice, horseradish, and more or less of any of the seasoning ingredients.