Here is another great way to get the benefits of lacto-fermented foods. Besides apples, any number of fruits are ripe for lacto-fermentation. Pears, quinces, rhubarb, peaches, etc., will transform into a tangy version of themselves and can do double duty as both a savory or sweet condiment, side, topping, or, simply a fruit treat. (You may want to sweeten rhubarb.) Fruits with more natural sugars will not need to sit out as long as apples. Try this–it’s really good, and the finished product keeps longer in the fridge, too. I’m giving two recipes, one for raw applesauce, and one for cooked applesauce, in case you’re not fond of raw applesauce. The amounts in the recipes are for one quart jar–recalibrate for our own needs.

Raw Fermented Applesauce

as many apples as needed to almost fill a quart jar, (peeled) and chopped (start with 3 large)
water or apple juice, as needed
1 t cinnamon, apple pie spice, or other apple-friendly spices, optional, or to taste
2 T whey
1 t sea salt

1. Pour boiling water into a quart jar, and over the ring and top. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then drain, and allow to air dry.

2. Put apples into a blender or food processor. Try to purée. If nothing’s happening, then add a splash or two of water or apple juice. Whizz to a consistency you like, then transfer to a bowl and add the spices, if using (you can always add spices in later, to individual tastes), whey, and salt. Stir to combine well, then transfer to the waiting quart jar. Fill, leaving about an inch headspace. Screw lid on, then let stand on your counter for 3 days.

3. The applesauce can be eaten now, but will benefit, I think,  from a longer, refrigerated fermentation, at least another 4 days. You will have to be the judge of this–taste before refrigerating, and then at regular intervals.

Cooked Fermented Applesauce

as much applesauce as needed to almost fill a quart jar
1 t cinnamon, apple pie spice, or other apple-friendly spices, optional, or to taste
4 T whey
1 t sea salt

1. Prepare applesauce as per your own preferences.

2. Prepare jar as for raw applesauce. Add spices, whey, and salt. Stir to combine. Fill a quart jar with the mixture until an inch shy of the top. Screw lid on and leave on and leave on your counter for three days.

3. The applesauce can be eaten now, but will benefit, I think,  from a longer, refrigerated fermentation, at least another 4 days. You will have to be the judge of this–taste before refrigerating, and then at regular intervals.