Most chutneys are made with a fair amount of sugar, usually to balance the heat from hot peppers. This fermented chutney uses dried fruit as a sweetener, and the flavors are, to my mind, more readily discerned as a result. As well, you’ll get a probiotic kick from this chutney. Any number of fruits can be used here, alone or in combination. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, apples, blueberries to name a few. I usually don’t specify fresh or bottled lemon juice, but in this case I recommend using fresh, as it will help the fermentation process and add valuable enzymes.

3 c or so (peeled) chopped fresh fruit
1/2 c raisins or other dried fruit, chopped if necessary
1/2 c nuts, such as cashews, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts…
2 t sea salt
2 – 3 T fresh lemon juice
3/4 c finely chopped onion
1 t – 1 T peeled, grated ginger, or to taste
1 – 2 fresh or dried hot peppers, seeded, membranes removed if you like, chopped,
1/2 c non-chlorinated water, or as needed

1. In a large bowl, mix the chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, onion, ginger, and hot pepper(s). Allow to macerate for about half an hour.

2. Transfer the mixture to one or more clean, preferably sterilized, canning jars, pressing down every few spoonfuls to release liquid. If the released liquid is not level with the fruit, add some of the water until the liquid is level. Leave an inch headspace. Screw on the lids, but not too tightly, and leave at room temperature for up to 3 days. Look for bubbling activity and or a little hissing sound when you unscrew the lid. This indicates fermentation.

3. Transfer to refrigerator where it will continue to ferment. Let it ferment for a couple of weeks in the fridge, tasting every couple of days. Eat it when you like the flavor.