Make Ahead

Spicy Lacto-fermented Pear Chutney

December 11, 2009
4 Ratings
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
In This Recipe
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • AntoniaJames
  • mrzach
  • WinnieAb
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.