Spicy Lacto-fermented Pear Chutney

By • December 11, 2009 5 Comments

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Author Notes: Here is an unusual savory chutney recipe that works well with many types of fruit. I consulted recipes for lacto-fermented fruits in two books-Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats- before I came up with this recipe. I was honestly skeptical about this one, but it’s really quite tasty, not to mention healthy. You can make a larger batch and give small jars as gifts; it's nice served alongside winter meat or poultry dishes and as a savory applesauce alternative on potato pancakes. Make sure to tell the gift recipient to store this in the refrigerator; it's best if consumed within two months.WinnieAb

Serves 1 quart

  • 3-4 pears, cored and chopped (to equal about 3 cups of fruit; you could also try this with apples, plums, peaches, mango, pineapple, grapes, or papaya, or use a combination of fruit)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashews or pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1 leek or 1 onion or the bottoms from 3-4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (or more if you really like it) grated ginger
  • 1-2 hot red chili peppers, fresh or dried, chopped (I used 1 dried ancho chili- plenty spicy for me)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) filtered water
  • 1 quart or 2 pint or 4 one cup size very clean glass jars with lids
  1. Mix fruit and nuts together in a bowl. Add salt, lemon juice, onion and spices, and mix well.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, pack tightly into jar(s). Pound down so that the fruit is quite compressed and the liquid rises. Add water as necessary to bring liquid level with the fruit mixture, which should be about 1 inch below the top of the jar (you need to leave a little room for expansion during fermentation).
  3. Keep at room temperature 2-4 days (open to check if it’s fizzy/bubbly as this will confirm fermentation) before transferring to the refrigerator.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Condiments|Plums|Peaches

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Comments (5) Questions (1)


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

This looks just wonderful. I am getting to know a local company who specializes in this process; they call themselves Real Pickles. There is so much history behind the fermentation story and so many health claims as well that this is really very worthy of more attention!


almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, pears at long last have made it to our local markets. I have a nice big bag of them patiently waiting this recipe. My question: how much lemon juice, by volume, do you use here? My lemons are rather small (but juicy). I'm concerned about getting the right amount of juice, knowing that the acid is key for the fermentation process. I'll probably try this recipe with apples, too. I'm totally hooked on lacto-fermented pickles and the mint chutney (to which I add an equal amount of cilantro) from Nourishing Traditions. I'm looking forward to making this soon!! Thank you. ;o)


almost 5 years ago WinnieAb

Hey AJ,
So sorry I did not respond earlier! Honestly, I don't know exactly how much lemon juice it was by volume, but I would use 2 if your lemons are small. Interested to hear how it turns (or turned, if you already made it) out ;) ps I haven't done that mint chutney- will have to try it, soon.


over 5 years ago mrzach

This recipe looks right on! I have just made it with a few substitutions. I like that you let the fresh and dried fruit be the sugar without using a salt sugar brine. I have made many lacto chutneys and krauts as well as other stuff and I love finding other's recipes for creative flavors in the nutrient dense traditions. Thanks for posting.


almost 5 years ago WinnieAb

You are welcome, mrzach...sorry it took me so long to reply, somehow I never saw your post...glad to hear you made this recipe (or something quite similar) and hope it turned out to your liking.