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Over at Instagram, I try to post photos of dishes with pops of colour, especially red, as it’s so appealing. Sometimes it’s tricky to get nice shots though, especially in winter with the sun setting even before dinner is served! This fermented cranberry relish is one of my ‘eye-catching’ food props as the colour is just so lovely – a cross between raspberry and ruby red. St-Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year are just around the corner, and though they are totally unrelated celebrations, red is one common feature. One for passion, the other for luck. This is a really quick and easy ferment to make and looks gorgeous to boot! My relish was inspired by this version featuring pomegranates at Killer Pickles. Here’s my contribution to something red this February!
I’ve been meaning to post this earlier, but wanted to make sure that the taste developed properly before sharing the recipe. In fact, this batch was made around the last week of November 2014 – I wanted it nice and ready for Christmas but did not get to photograph it until well into January 2015. My family was supposed to host Christmas eve supper last year for the extended family, but at the last minute I was stricken with the ‘flu’ bug and whatever Christmassy plans we had were tossed out of the agenda. Then after that, the rest of the family got the bug as well. As it was, another relative’s family was also down with the ‘stomach flu’ too. The supper wasn’t meant to happen, I guess!
Now if you’re new to fermenting and have never tried it before, don’t let the word ‘fermented’ throw you off. For some, the word ‘fermented’ brings to mind stinky foods, but that’s not the case with this lovely cranberry relish. In fact, you could serve this to people who have never tried fermented foods before and be totally unaware that it’s fermented.
After blending, the cranberry mixture will look pinkish and foamy but not to worry, as it will deepen in colour and turn into a lovely red-hued relish over time. Allow for some breathing space in the glass jar that you use for storing your relish, as filling it to the brim will almost definitely result in a leaking mess! As a form of insurance I like to place the jar on a plate to in case of any leaks, though that has not happened to my cranberry relish ferments. I used a Fido jar for fermenting this relish as I have yet to invest in an anaerobic fermentation jar system (like the Pickl-It or Probiotic Jar system, which are on my wish list), but I have also used clean glass jars (such as a canning or jam jar) without problem. For those living in places with a hotter climate, 2 days of fermentation should be sufficient.
I love the slightly sweet and tangy taste of this relish and it’s fantastic with all sorts of savoury foods. Meatballs, smoked salmon, pulled pork, poultry or shredded beef, just to name a few. As with all fermented foods (kimchi is a great example), the taste develops over time and becomes more complex. The flavour depth of this relish is just amazing! Though it is recommended to consume such ferments within 1 – 2 months of making, my relish is slightly over 2 months old and still tasting pretty good (just so you know…).
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ⅓ cup raw/ unpasteurised honey
- ½ cup unfiltered pure apple juice
- 1 orange, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ inch ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Combine all the ingredients together and pulse using a food processor or hand-held immersion blender until a slightly chunky mixture is formed
- Transfer to a clean glass jar (I used a Fido jar) and seal, storing it in a dark place to ferment for 2 - 3 days
- Loosen the lid slightly every 12 - 24 hours to allow built-up gases to escape
- Transfer to the refrigerator