Can you ferment applesauce?
Why of course, you can do whatever you want! I have fermented applesauce many times. I would definitely say yes, yes you can ferment applesauce and you should! It’s my favorite way to eat applesauce. Raw, rich in probiotics and with the special magical effervescence that comes only with time. Fermenting your applesauce is definitely worth the wait.
Is fermented applesauce safe to eat?
Absolutely. Don’t let food safety hysteria take over. Find truth. Fermenation causes an acidic environment. Acidic environments are inhospitable for bad bacteria. Even applesauce alone is acidic, that’s why it’s safe for water bath canning. But don’t just take my word for it, do your research or just trust the experts.
Will applesauce ferment into alcohol?
It could. If you let your applesauce sit too long it will start to develop alcohol. There is a sweet spot just before it gets boozy where it’s sparkly and magical and that is always what I shoot for when fermenting applesauce. Don’t leave it room temp for too long or you’ll risk a higher alcohol content. All fermented foods have some alcohol, but usually only trace amounts. I make fermented applesauce and feed it to my kiddos, no problem.
Can applesauce ferment in the fridge?
Yes it could, but it takes much longer. The cold environment slows down the bacterial activity. It’s best to ferment applesauce room temp for a short time and then move it to the fridge and use it up in a week or less. The fridge slows down the fermentation process a lot. While fermented applesauce lasts in the fridge longer than fresh applesauce, it’s still a pretty short amount of time as far as food preservation goes. This is a treat that we plan to eat within a week of making it.
What do fermented apples taste like?
Fermented applesauce tastes so delicious. It’s the champagne of applesauce. While most applesauce is cooked, this recipe is just fresh puréed apples. This allows fermented applesauce to maintain a strong fresh apple flavor. I recommend tasting the apples just after they are pureed before they ferment. It tastes like blended fresh apples, and somehow it has an almost drying feeling in the mouth. After fermentation it tastes very different. It is juicier and has a more vibrant, exciting taste.
If you haven’t experimented much with fermentation, this is a great starting place! It’s easy and quick so you can reap the rewards of your effort sooner than with some longer fermented recipes.
What equipment do you need?
- Food processor or blender. I have this food processor and it’s work every penny.
- Glass mason jar
- Loose fitting lid, This one I use all the time.
- Silicone spatula. This one is my favorite and I use if all the time.
What are the ingredients?
Apples and salt. That’s it! You can also add a teaspoon or two of a starter liquid like this one. Or whey saved from yogurt or kefir making, which is what I use in this video. Try adding some flavor by including cinnamon, ginger or apple pie spice. I love spiced applesauce, it’s like apple pie in a jar!
How do you ferment applesauce?
Fermenting applesauce is so easy, you might just do it by accident.
- Make a raw apple purée in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt.
- Place the purée in a jar with a loose fitting lid, leaving about 1 inch of headspace.
- Stir applesauce a couple times a day, tasting and smelling often.
It’s done when it’s a little bubbly and tastes good. It only takes 12 – 48 hours, depending on how warm your house is.
Do you have to peel the apples?
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I peel the apples if they are from the store because they are covered in wax and sometimes pesticides. I like to leave the skin on if the fruit is from our orchard. Either way is just fine.
What type of apples work best?
I use whatever type are available. Mealy apples don’t make for good sauce. Try to avoid red delicious completely. I have made this recipe with so many different varieties of apples I couldn’t name them all. I have even tried more tart apples like Granny Smith. Those are still great but can be a bit tart. If you taste your sauce before leaving it to ferment and it doesn’t taste sweet enough for you, just add a little sugar. But be careful! Too much sugar will make the mixture ferment really quickly. Keep an eye on it and stir often.
What’s with all the stirring?
Stirring the applesauce while it ferments does a couple things. One is that it disturbs the surface. Mold can only grow with oxygen, that means it can only grow on the surface or in air bubbles in the the jar. Stirring it will move things around enough that mold will not grow on the surface or in air pockets.
Two is that stirring moves things around which helps the distribution of growing bacteria. Look at your jar before stirring and notice the fermentation may be taking place in just one area of the jar. You can tell by little bubbles and maybe some color change. Stir it around and help that good bacteria work their magic.
Watch the video.
In this video I show how I make fermented applesauce using store bought apples.
What do you use fermented applesauce for?
Well, usually you’ll find me standing in the kitchen with my 2 year old eating it out of the jar. It’s so good as it is it doesn’t often make its way into other recipes. However, applesauce with pork is a cartoon classic. That’s just about as American as you can get. Why not liven up dinner with some healthy, gut-healing probiotics and have a bit with your pork chops?
When people are nervous about fermentation I recommend starting with a simple recipe, and this is just about as simple as it gets. As little as 2 ingredients and only 12 to 48 hours and you’re eating magic off a spoon. The other quick and easy crowd pleaser I recommend to beginners is fermented salsa. Stay tuned for more recipes, that one is on the list to share as well.
Thank you for reading! Have you tried this recipe? Do you make it differently? Let me know in the comments.
- Glass Jar
- Jar Funnel
- Food Processor
- Loose Fitting Lid
- Ginger Bug optional
- Cinnamon optional
- Core the apples, peel them if you prefer.
- Cut into chunks and place into the food processor.
- Pulse and eventually blend to your liking. Smooth or chunky, both are fine, it’s up to you!
- Add a pinch of salt and pulse to incorporate.
- Add ginger bug starter and/or cinnamon if using
- Move applesauce into a mason jar leaving about 1 inch of headspace.
- Cover it with a loose fitting lid. You can also use a cloth or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
- Leave the applesauce on the counter to ferment at room temperature.
- Stir the applesauce well a couple times a day until it’s done fermenting.
- Move to the fridge and enjoy within one week.