Author Notes: I'm a fan of pickled fruit. It's a great tart accompaniment to rich foods. I used maple syrup instead of sugar to add a little extra flavor punch. I tried making this first with cider vinegar, but the vinegar flavor overpowered the mix. The apple slices will fade with time, so feel free to try a redder skinned apple. This particular pickle would be lovely alongside a serving of unctuous pork, or even on a pulled pork sandwich. - hardlikearmour
Food52 Review: I chose the Quick Pickled Apples from hardlikearmor. These a snap to make, assuming you have pickling spices on hand (I didn't, but am now ready to pickle anything!). The instructions were easy to follow, and the brine is just sensational. The maple/vinegar/star anise blend is lovely, and the Pink Lady apples were absolutely fantastic after a day pickling in the fridge. Still crisp, still apples, but with a nice tangy, spicy acid bite. Loved them! I enjoyed mine in a grilled cheese sandwich with sharp cheddar and sourdough wheat bread, and another night in an arugula salad with shaved Parmesan cheese. A keeper and a winner in my book! - cheesypennies
Makes 1 pint
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, plus additional if desired (grade B if you can find it)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 largish Pink Lady apples
- 2-3 star anise pods
- Combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, pickling spice, and kosher salt in a small to medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat heat to low and cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out a small amount of the brine, allow to cool, and taste. If you want a sweeter pickle add more maple syrup, a tablespoon at a time.
- After you reduce the heat on the brine, wash and core your apples. Cut them in half (pole to pole), then cut each half into approximately 1/8th inch slices. Transfer the slices to a quart glass measure or similar sized bowl. Add the star anise pods to the bowl.
- Pour the brine through a strainer into the bowl with the apple slices, then cover and allow to come to room temperature. The apples will float, so I used my strainer to keep them submerged by covering the strainer and glass measure tightly with plastic wrap (see photo).
- Once they have hit room temperature, transfer them to a pint glass jar, layering them evenly around the perimeter. Transfer the star anise pods to the space left in the middle of the apples. Fill the jar with brine, and discard left over brine. Cover and refrigerate. They are good for at least a week in the fridge.