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Bubbles when you ferment, they’re how I feel: ferments are exciting to make!
Cranberry Sauce with figs, citrus and cloves
This is one special recipe.
The odd thing about cranberries is that they lose their zing when they’re fermented. The zing (their tartness) is their nutrition, and it mellows yet amplifies, becoming more potent and digestible.
Flavor-wise we need to make cranberry ferments as exciting as the flavor of raw or cooked cranberries; because fermented berries are more nutritious!
Cranberries are super high in vitamin C, anti-flammatory in nature and high in antioxidants.
So, I’ve added the best of all fruits to this ferment: the fig, the dried fig. The flavor and texture combo is lovely and complimentary.
This recipe also includes raisins for sweetness, citrus for zing, maple for depth and sweetness, sea salt for umami and to bless the fermentation process, and a couple of fitting spices like cinnamon and cloves. Taste the serious, intense, complex goodness- earthy, tangy, sweet.
This chunky condiment is not only one to make for our holiday tables, but also one to eat from the moment cranberries appear to the moment they disappear from our markets. It’s great on sandwiches, with all meats including salmon, with salads.
I hope you’re feeling exuberant and enthusiastic about grabbing cranberries and these other ingredients and getting started on this very fun ferment!
Whether you’ve fermented before or are new to it, the one challenge most have with the process is keeping the recipe anaerobic, which just means without air. When this or any veggie/fruit kraut is packed into jars or a fermentation crock it must be weighted down so the solids stay beneath the brine, thus preventing mold and allowing their preservation.
I have found two favorite tools to share with you that help with this challenge. The first tool is a set of simple glass weights that fit neatly and perfectly inside the mouths of mason jars. They didn’t have these when I started fermenting years ago, and they’re a wonderful, easy solution. (Find them HERE.)
The other tool I love is an affordable crock originally developed in Korea for making kimchi. It’s a rectangular vessel that has a vacuum lid inside. This lid suctions to the inside of the vessel and gets pushed beneath the brine. I make ferments continually in mine, and just walk away without worry once the ferment is packed in to age. (Find it HERE.)
- 5 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup dried figs
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brine from prior ferment like sauerkraut juice or whey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
- juice 1 orange and 2 tsp. of its zest
- juice 1 lemon and 1 tsp. of its zest
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves (so yummy!)
Place cranberries into high powered blender or food processor. Pulse repeatedly until cranberries are diced and minced. Empty cranberries into medium-size fermentation crock or ceramic/glass large bowl. Set aside.
Add remaining ingredients to blender, except the brine and cinnamon stick, (if using). Pulse until ingredients are chopped small, without pureeing.
Add blender contents to crock or large bowl with cranberries. Using a wooden spoon, stir in brine.
Spoon sauce into sterilized jars, if not using ferment crock. Weight down, so brine rises just slightly above weight. Clean the rim and inside upper edge of jar or crock. Place lid on jar or crock.
Leave at room temperature, preferably in a warm location or on a warm sprouting mat (if winter time- see Recipe notes for mat) for about 5 days. Ferment may be bubbly when complete.
Refrigerate or place in cold storage. Serve over time, enjoying up to 1/4 cup with meals.
My two favorite fermentation tools are either glass mason jar weights or the Korean-designed part-ceramic crock. Both eliminate the challenges associated with keeping your ferment under the brine. (Find the weights HERE and the crock HERE.)
A sprouting mat (find it HERE) is great for fermentation of all kinds during the colder months. It will keep your cranberry sauce warm and move the fermentation safely forward, even when the house gets cool overnight.
Other sides for your holiday table?
Try THIS fantastic Grain-free Stuffing with Sausage. We make it every year, and even those with a standard American diet come back for seconds.
HERE’s our favorite Winter Squash OR Sweet Potato Casserole, (which can be made ahead and frozen before baking).
THIS is our Holiday Salad with Caramelized Delicata Squash, Sage & Raspberries, so pretty and delicious.