Fermented Cranberry Relish

Friends, it’s been a while. It was nearly a month ago that I wrote about sauerkraut as Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the Northeast. What a month it has been. My family and friends in New York City and Long Island are all safe and sound, but so many people they know have lost their homes.

Last week at my sister Meg’s house we cleared out the living room furniture to make room for rented tables and chairs. We set out 37 place settings and gave thanks for electricity and a warm, dry home. The turkey weighed 28 pounds. There was very little pie left over.

I made a last minute addition to the menu Tuesday afternoon, when while counting down the last few minutes of work before the holiday break, I came across this recipe for fermented cranberry sauce. It was delicious alongside the turkey, but I really enjoyed it the next morning for breakfast spooned over Greek yogurt along with some honey. I just made another batch because it’s the kind of thing  want to have in the fridge all winter. I bet it would make a really good oatmeal topping too.

Fermented Cranberry Relish, loosely adapted from Oh Lardy (via @chiotsrun)
About 1/4 cup whey (strained from plain yogurt*)
4 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 small orange
1/2 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger, or to taste
A big pinch of salt

*To strain whey from yogurt, put about a cup of plain yogurt in a strainer lined with cheese cloth, a paper coffee filter, or a paper towel. Place the strainer over a bowl. The whey will slowly drip out into the bowl. You’ll end up with whey in the bowl and nice thick, Greek-style yogurt in the strainer. Or if they whey has separated out of your yogurt right in the container, as often happens with a half-eaten large container of yogurt, you can just pour the whey off.

Coarsely chop the cranberries in a food processor or blender. Stir all of the other ingredients into the cranberries. At this point you can taste it and adjust the proportions of ingredients if you like. Pour the mixture into a quart jar. Put the lid on, but don’t screw it down tight. Since this contains a lot of sugar, pressure will build up if it is fermented in a tightly sealed container, which could cause the jar to explode. Ferment at room temperature for 48 hours, after which it can be eaten right away or stored in the refrigerator for up to a couple of months.

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