Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lacto-Fermented Apple Butter

Continuing the theme of preserving as many different kinds of produce as I can this year, I made lacto-fermented apple butter. Lacto-fermenting is so easy and delicious! Most every time, I am struck by the simplicity of preparation and yumminess of results! Now, this is different than lacto-fermenting sauerkraut; whereas sauerkraut ferments and mellows for up to six weeks, this apple butter only sat out at room temperature for a few days. I wasn't sure what kind of a fermented *tang* it would have. As of yet - not much. Just a flavorful apple spread that has the benefits of lacto-fermentation for preservation as well as nutrition. I imagine if it lasts long enough in the fridge (which I doubt! - we are devouring it!), it will acquire more of a kick as time passes. I used the recipe in Nourishing Traditions. It calls for dried apples that have been re-hydrated, I think for intensity of flavor compared to water content. However, I baked fresh apples, uncovering them in the end to dry them out so that they are marvelously flavorful. The recipe also calls for more honey, but these apples are so sweet and good as-is, I wanted to add as little as I could get away with. The whole household is pleased with the results.

We got a huge bag of "cosmetically challenged" apples at the farmers' market from the end of the cellar-apple season - there ended up being a lot of Fujis. So I froze some after baking, and made a quart-plus of apple butter with the rest. We wish I'd made more!

Lacto-fermented Apple Butter
- a quart-plus (wish I could tell you how many apples, but you'll
have to figure it out for yourself...)

Bake, covered, at 400:
Apples- quartered and cored - not peeled
Once they are soft, take off the lid and bake another 15 mins, then
turn off the oven and let them sit until their edges are browned and
crisp (this is usually just me forgetting about them...).

Blend cooled apples in a food processor with:
1/4 cup of whey - drained from plain, live-active organic yogurt
1 tbsp seasalt
1.5 tbsp raw honey

Pour into a clean jar and cover with a sterile lid.
Let sit at room temperature for 3 days, then refrigerate.

Will last 2-3 months.
You might as well go ahead and plan to make more than one batch...!

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