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I need you to employ your unique taste buds for this recipe. We all have a range of sweetness and tartness that we find personally pleasing …. so I need you to tailor this recipe to those preferences. With my mom visiting for this month, I turned to her as my taste tester for this recipe. I have learned that we both have a bit of sweet tooth so I used a 1/2 cup of agave for these pickles. I was almost afraid to share them with Bob, guessing that they would be too sweet for him, but he loved them.
When making the brine, start with 1/4 cup of agave and work up from there as needed. As I researched the SAD (Standard American Diet) recipes for sweet bread and butter pickles, it was common to see people using 2 cups of refined white sugar in a recipe similar to this one. If you wish to use a different sweetener, start with small amounts and build up. Each different sweetener will lend a different flavor. I choose raw agave because there isn’t a secondary flavor note to it outside of the sweetness. An example for a sweetener with a secondary flavor note is honey, and each variety of honey will have a taste based on the flower pollen that the bees collected, thus giving the sweetness of the honey a second flavor note. If you decide to use honey you will need to really work at whisking it into the brine. With patience, it will come together just fine.
When I decided to make a raw sweet pickle, I turned to the Internet. I pulled up about half a dozen recipes to see just went into making a sweet pickle. I quickly learned that generally there is a base foundation of vinegars, tons of white sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, onions and oh… cucumbers. :) In my past few batches of pickles that I made with turmeric it just…. just…. well it just didn’t make my taste buds stand up and sing hallelujah. So, this time around I omitted it and it came out perfect. I hope you enjoy them too! Just so you know, they keep on getting better with each passing day.