Lacto-Fermented Apple Salsa

in

 Yields 1 quart

½ cup filtered or non-chlorinated water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons whey (optional but useful, directions for how to make whey are below)*
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher or medium-grain salt
3 cups cored and finely chopped apples
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
½ cup raisins
¼ cup thinly slice onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
 
1. Whisk the water, honey, whey, apple cider vinegar and salt until the honey and salt are completely dissolved.
2. Peek and core the apples. Chop them into pieces or slivers between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.
3. Lightly grind the coriander and caraway seeds with a mortar and pestle.
4. Coarsely chop the raisings (you can skip this step if you like, but I think the texture of the salsa is better if you wake the time).
5. In a large bowl, mix together the apples, raisins, onion slices and all of the spices. Pack the combined ingredients into a clean glass quart jar.
6. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. The brine should completely cover the solid ingredients; if it doesn’t, top off with a little filtered water.
7. Put a lid on the jar but loosely (you want the gases that develop during fermentation to be able to escape).  Put a small plate under the jar to catch any overflow that might occur during fermentation.
8. Leave the jar of apple salsa out at room temperature for 2 days. During that time, take the lid off at least once a day and look for signs of fermentation such as bubbles on the surface. You’ll see these especially if you press gently on the food. But don’t just look for signs of fermentation; also get close with your nose and sniff for that clean but tangy pickled smell that means the safe, tasty and healthy transformation you’re after is happening. Because of the spices, your fermenting fruit salsa will be more aromatic than plain vegetable ferments are.
9. Once the apple salsa has been actively fermenting for at least 24 hours, transfer it to the refrigerator or a cool, dark cellar. You won’t need the plate under the jar any longer, because the cold storage temperature will slow down fermentation so much that there shouldn’t be any overflow. If you opt for the refrigerator, store the apple salsa on the top shelf of the main compartment where it is the coolest. This will help the apples keep their crunch longer. Wait at least a week longer before eating the salsa.
 
*Note: To make whey drain yogurt through cloth or paper filters over a bowl. The liquid that separates out is whey. Drained yogurt is thicker than regular, and delicious. If you let it drain in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours you have something with the exact consistency of a soft cream cheese.
 
Recipe courtesy of Preserving Everything by Leda Meredith