By Vanessa Greaves

Make summer last longer with quick pickled fruit.

Fresh summer fruit gets into a whole new flavor territory when you soak it in a sweet and tangy vinegar brine and pop it in the fridge for a day or two for an easy quick pickle. Unlike traditional pickling, quick pickles (aka refrigerator pickles) don't require processing with a boiling hot water bath. That's one reason why quick pickles are an easy approach to preserving summer fruit for the short term. Here are a few ideas for quick pickles made with summer's best fruit.

Quick Tips for Quick Pickles

Because they're not water-bath processed and heat-sealed, quick refrigerator pickles need to be stored in the fridge and eaten within a week or two. Most recipes make a relatively small batch for this very reason. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind when you're pickling.

  • Make sure your work space is clean and sanitized
  • Sterilize jars by running them through the dishwasher or submerging them in boiling water.
  • Choose fresh, unbruised produce.
  • Wash produce before pickling.
  • Taste the brine before you combine it with the fruit; adjust sweetness or flavorings as necessary.
  • Refrigerator pickles should stay refrigerated and will be good to eat for a week or two at the most.

6 Easy Quick Pickled Fruit Recipes to Try

1. Pickled Grapes

"These fun and unique pickles are delicious," says recipe creator CJ. "They're a stunning side to grilled meats and sandwiches or straight out if the jar. Store grapes in refrigerator for 1 week. Enjoy!"

Photo by CJ

2. Sour Cherry Pickle

"This is not really a recipe, but it's an easy way to turn vinegar into a fabulously dark red color with a tangy taste that is suitable and eye-catching for every kind of dressing. Plus you get to eat the delicious pickled sour cherries too! Or add them to the salad." — My Midnight Cravings

3. Pickled Peppers

"Yum yum yum!" says reviewer France C. "This is my first time pickling peppers and what's not to love?! Very simple to make. The hardest part is letting them sit in the fridge overnight. I later served these on a meat and cheese tray." (And yes, peppers are classified as fruits even though we think of them as vegetables.)

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

How to Convert a Traditional Pickle Recipe Into a Quick Pickle

A traditional pickle recipe includes a hot water process that preserves food for the long term and makes it safe to store unopened at room temperature. But if you're only pickling a couple of jars of fruit, you can use the quick pickle method by simply eliminating the hot water processing step as long as you refrigerate the jars and eat them up within a week or two.

Try the following recipes, but leave out the hot water bath processing step. Just fill the jars and stash them in the fridge for a week or two:

4. Pickled Peaches

To make these into quick pickled peaches, follow the recipe but skip the hot water bath. Store in the fridge and consume within two weeks.

Photo by Jessi Dickason

5. Watermelon Pickles

Again, to convert this recipe into a quick pickle, follow the direction but skip the hot water processing. Store in the fridge and eat within two weeks. "They are out of this world delicious. So easy to make. The only thing time consuming is waiting for the watermelon to process in the refrigerator overnight," says reviewer Patrice Davis.

Photo by Patrice Davis

6. Catherine's Pickled Blueberries

Skip the hot water process and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. "I sell blueberries and blueberry products at the local farmers market and was looking for new ideas for what to do with the berries when I happened across this one. It's a hit, not only at the market but at home as well. This recipe has definitely made it to the recipe book. Thanks for sharing!" — Kara