Lacto-Fermented Spiced Apples Recipe

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Lacto-fermented apples are surprisingly just as pleasing as quick-pickled ones, though notably more soured than sweet. Using just salt, lemon juice, cinnamon, and honey, apples are transformed into this simple sweet and sour ferment. Eat them as a snack, or serve them with meats for a tasty side dish.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
Makes 1 quart


  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
  • 4 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pound sweet apples


  1. In a nonreactive pot, combine the honey, salt, cinnamon, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Heat until the salt is dissolved then promptly turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Halve and core the apples; then thinly slice the halves and pack them into a quart jar.
  3. Pour the cooled brine over the apples, pressing the apples down to ensure they are below the brine. Use a weight, or add the remaining brine to a foodsafe, zippered plastic bag and insert this into the neck of the bottle to hold the apples below the brine.
  4. Allow the apples to sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days until fermentation slows down. At this point remove the weight, affix a nonreactive lid, and refrigerate the pickled apples for at least 1 week before eating. Refrigerated, the apples will keep for 1 month.

More from DIY Pickling: Step-by-Step Recipes for Fermented, Fresh, and Quick Pickles:

Make the time-honored tradition of pickling simple and accessible with this handy DIY guide. From Japanese Tsukemono to Korean kimchi, from German sauerkraut to Indian chutney, pickling is part of a long and rich tradition of food culture around the world, and with DIY Pickling, making delicious sweet, sour, spicy and fermented pickles in your own kitchen has never been easier. Included are the fundamental pickling techniques that you’ll turn to again and again in your pursuit of pickling perfection. Work your way through a wide range of pickling projects with over 100 step-by-step pickling recipes, detailed troubleshooting guides to ensure pickling success, insider tips and anecdotes from pickling experts, chapters dedicated to fermented pickles and Asian pickles, instructions for canning and storing your pickles, and a bonus chapter about how to integrate pickles into your everyday cooking. Whether you are new to pickling or looking to go beyond the basics, DIY Pickling will give you the tools and tips you need to unleash your inner kitchen crafter and master your pickling skills.

Reprinted with permission from DIY Pickling: Step-by-Step Recipes for Fermented, Fresh, and Quick Pickles by Rockridge Press and published by Rockridge Press, 2015.

Inspiration for edible alchemy.