Fermenting fruit is really not difficult. Depending on what flavor or consistency you want to create or emphasize, there are different approaches. How fermentation works in general, and what the relevant characteristics of most fruit is, is also the prerequisite for the success of your ferment.
Obst ≠ Gemüse
Fruit contains much more sugar and wild yeasts than vegetables. That is why it ferments faster and turns quickly into alcohol. Wild fermentation, i.e. fermentation that takes place due to naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria and works so well with vegetables, is not the first choice for fruit.
I have tried many ways over the years, did some resaerch in parallel and exchanged ideas with befriended fermentistas. Basically, I have found four ways to ferment fruit successfully and tastily.
What works very well is to increase the common salt content of 2% in the fermentation of fruit and in addition apply pressure to generate a brine. This means, for example, that you sprinkle pieces of fruit with salt and weigh them down with weight(s). The salt and pressure will extract the liquid from the fruit and create a brine. It is important to note that the salinity should reach a maximum of 10%. In fact, fermentation takes place up to 10% salinity. If you use even more salt, you would start to talk about pickling. Also delicious, but not the subject here.
I use this type of fermentation to ferment plums, or small apricots umeboshi style.
Recipes for fermented fruit
Fermenting with honey
Another absolutely delicious option is the fermentation of fruit with the use of honey. Berries, ginger, lemons, turmeric, oranges are good examples of fruit and honey ferments. You just have to make sure that there is not too much moisture from the fruit, otherwise you might accidentally make mead or a similar alcoholic liquid (like Katsulua, the delicious fermented coffee liqueur).
My favorite ferments with honey, with and without fruit, can be easily browsed on a dedicated page.
Fermentation using starter cultures
In order to direct the alcoholic fermentation more towards lactofermentation, the fruit ferment can be cultivated by adding a so-called starter. A starter culture consists of microorganisms capable of propagation, for example sourdough, whey, water kefir or kombucha.
Combining fruit and vegetables
When fruit and vegetables are combined, a simple wild fermentation is possible. These combination ferments are as easy to produce as pure vegetable ferments and are among my declared favorites. The vegetables lower the total sugar content and thus slow down the fermentation process.
All kinds of fruit fermented kkakdugi style are delicious, or fruit as a flavoring for a hot sauce. Fennel with blueberries is also one of my favorite recipes!
Homemade vinegar from fruits or fruit leftovers is great! It often tastes more intense than store-bought, is much cheaper and uses available resources - my apple cider vinegar made from skins and cores is a genuine zero-waste product.
Vinegar is a separate topic to which I am preparing an independent contribution. You can subscribe to this blog or to my instagram so that you will know about the publication. Or just drop by here again ☺️