Basic Pickling

7 pints

This recipe is sufficient to pickle three cantaloupes, two medium pumpkins, or two pounds of pearl onions.


  • 3 cups sugar

  • 2 cups apple-cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves

  • 2 teaspoons allspice

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 half-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • Items to be pickled


  1. Heat sugar and vinegar in a nonreactive stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

  2. Add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand overnight at room temperature.

  3. Transfer mixture to jars or airtight containers, and store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Cook's Notes

Before pickling, peel the items, and cut into slightly larger than one-inch chunks; pearl onions can be left whole. To peel pearl onions, drop them in boiling water for one minute, and then drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, slip off the papery skins.

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