5 Ingredients or Fewer

Probiotic FermentedĀ Apples

August  9, 2021
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Photo by beyondcelery
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 72 hours
  • makes 1.5 quart jars
Author Notes

I learned this method from my neighbor, who learned it from a German friend years ago. It's similar to Rumtopf, but without the booze. I love it because it's quick to make and the apples are a sweet and slightly effervescent snack. This recipe quickly became one of my favorites when I realized I could preserve the apples and have a near-instant apple pie filling for any day of the week, all winter (just add spices). Processing the apples kills the probiotics, but all the flavor remains. —beyondcelery

What You'll Need
  • 5-6 apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 quart size glass jars
  1. Sterilize both quart-size glass jars.
  2. Peel and core apples and slice them into jars. When the fruit is about 1.5-2 inches high, sprinkle with 1/8 cup of sugar. Take care that the sugar covers the top apples well. Continue slicing, sprinkling the sugar on top every time the apples reach another 1.5 inches. I usually do this 3-4 times per quart jar, ending with a layer of sugar on top. You may not use quite all the sugar in this recipe; the amount is approximate. Leave at least 1 inch of room at the top of the jar. For this recipe, you'll fill 1 jar completely and the second jar around halfway.
  3. Place a weight on top of the apples in each jar, so they're pressed down firmly. I used glass fermentation weights, but a small jar (sterilized) filled with marbles also works. The apples will reduce over time and sink under their own juices.
  4. After a couple of hours, check the apples and press them down. By the end of the first day, they should be easily submerged beneath their own juices.
  5. Check apples daily, pressing down as needed, for 3 days. By the third day, you'll see happy little bubbles along the sides. The apples should smell sweet and have a nice crunch when tasted. They'll be lightly fizzy on your tongue. (If you detect any "off" flavor at this point, you may want to discard the batch and start again.) Your apples are now ready to be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to preserve them, go to the next step.
  6. If you're going to preserve the apples, sterilize one new quart jar and lid. The number of apples in this recipe should fill a single quart jar exactly, after the 3-day fermentation.
  7. Pour all apples and juice into a pot and warm on the stove. Do not boil or you'll have applesauce! You're just warming the apples.
  8. Pack the warmed apples and juice into the freshly sterilized jar, then water bath process for 20 minutes. Remove from water and listen for the pop of a properly sealed lid. Your apples can now be stored at room temperature.
  9. When you're ready for apple pie, pour 2 quarts of canned apples into a pot and bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add spices as desired, but it's already fully sweetened. I prefer not to add a thickener (such as corn starch) because these thicken while baking, but this is when you should add a thickener if you're going to. Pour apples and juice into a pie shell and bake as usual.

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