She is here.

Autumn is marking her arrival with gusts of window to shake the leaves from the trees.

It is time to turn our attention towards harvesting the bounty the growing season has provided and fermentation is ready to do what it does best, preserving the goodness and adding that little bit more.

I have had an interesting time engaging with different folk as I appeared at events and festivals over the summer.   Whilst we read more and more about fermented foods and how good they are for you, it seems their acceptance has still a little way to go.  For some they are still too sour.  For others the appearance and smell challenge.

It has inspired a little poetic offering which you will allow me to indulge, because believe me, it would be easier to be promoting chocolate or doughnuts.

 

I have seen you whince,

I can read your mind,

I know none of these foods sounds sublime.

There is MAGIC in the meeting of science and art

And the flavour really sets them apart.

I can bake you a diary free, gluten free cake,

But these food leave a sweet tooth in their wake.

 

This week our Recipe of the Week, takes a twist on an well established apple preserving tradition.

I ventured into the world of chutney making for a brief second and the quantity of sugar left me too horrified to try the end result.  So you can leave the kilo of sugar out and ferment your apples instead for a kinder autumn condiment which is good for you.

MAKES 1 X 1-LITRE JAR
700g apples (any kind), coarsely chopped

120ml lemon juice

4 tbsp whey, water kefir, kombucha, or ginger bug

1 tsp sea salt

140g raisins

140g pecans or other nut, chopped

4 tbsp coconut sugar, date paste or other natural sweetener

4 tbsp five-spice blend
250ml filtered water (optional)

1 Place the apples, lemon juice, starter and salt in a food processor and pulse, leaving it quite coarse. Transfer to a bowl and add the raisins, chopped nuts, sugar and five-spice. Mix it together well, then pack into a clean 1-litre jar, making sure all the ingredients are covered in liquid. Top up with the filtered water if necessary, making sure you leave 2.5cm of headspace at the top of the jar.

2 Leave to ferment for two to three days at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge and enjoy within two to three weeks.