Red Hot Cinnamon Pickles
Start-to-finish: 4 days
(1 hour active)
12 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and quartered lengthwise
1 cup pickling lime
1 gallon water
1 gallon cold water
1 3/4 cups white vinegar, divided
1 1/4 cups water, divided
12 1/2 ounces of Red Hots (cinnamon- flavored candies)
1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon alum
1 1/4 cups white sugar
4 4-inch cinnamon sticks
6 pint-sized canning jars with rings and lids
Place cucumber spears in a large container. Stir pickling lime into 1 gallon water in a large pitcher until lime dissolves; pour over the cucumbers and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Drain cucumbers and rinse well; return to large container. Pour enough cold water over the drained cucumbers to cover. Soak at least 3 hours; drain. Transfer cucumbers to a large pot with a lid.
Stir 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water together in a bowl; add Red Hots. Set aside to soak, stirring occasionally.
Stir 1/2 cup vinegar, red food coloring and alum together in a bowl until alum is dissolved; pour over cucumbers. Place a lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours; drain and return cucumbers to the pot.
Pour Red Hot mixture into a saucepan and add sugar and cinnamon sticks. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook and stir until the candies and sugar are dissolved completely into a syrupy liquid. Pour the liquid over the drained cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight.
Drain liquid from the cucumbers into a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil and pour again over the cucumbers. Refrigerate 24 hours. Repeat this process once more.
Heat cucumbers and syrup to a boil. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for 5 minutes. Pack cucumbers into the hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife around the insides of the jars after filling to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 30 to 45 minutes.
Refrigerate until chilled before serving.