Salting Fruit

We can, and dry, and ferment it, but we have never preserved fruit with salt. Maybe it’s the copious boxes of persimmons in the kitchen, or the buckets of pineapple guavas, or maybe it’s simply the chilly weather making me crave salty foods, but it came to me yesterday: I want to salt-cure fruit. Really, why not?

I turned to the trusty labyrinth of Internet recipes and came up short. Sprinkling salt on fruit? Sure. But packing fresh fruit in salt? Must not be tasty, ‘cause no one seems to have done it. The only reference I found to salt-cured fruit is an article on fruit cocktails.

I decided to forge on. I used quart and pint canning jars, kosher salt left over from this summer’s fresh-pack dill pickles, and fresh fuyu persimmons and pineapple guavas.

I cut the persimmons into eighths and the pineapple guavas in half longwise. I poured a half-inch layer of salt into each jar before beginning to add fruit. I also made sure that all of the chunks of fruit were separated by salt. So far, so good. The jars are behaving themselves on the kitchen counter.

According to the cocktail article, it can take months for fruit to cure in salt. When the fruit is cured, the author describes steeping it in hot water and adding sugar. I am curious what other (palatable) uses salt-cured fruit may have beyond cocktails. I’ll keep you posted.

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9 Responses to Salting Fruit

  1. If you’ve a glut of fruit why not? Having said that, I’ve only ever heard of preserving lemons in salt so will be fascinated to read the results of your experiment. You might end up with your own version of Tequila and who knows, something amazing!

  2. I, too, have been curious about salting persimmons. I’m going to try doing what you have done with your persimmons. I am also going to try salting my persimmons before I put them in the dehydrator with the hope that I will get something like the lovely juxtaposition of chocolate with salt.

    • What a fabulous idea, Carolyn! Somehow this hadn’t crossed my mind. We have a few remaining boxes of persimmons to dry, and I will give this a try as well. What I have considered doing in the past (but haven’t gotten around to) is marinating persimmons before drying them. I imagine mixing spices into honey and soaking persimmon slices in this before dehydrating them. Yum!

  3. Omg how did the fruit turn out? I just thought what would happen if I salt cure and then oven dry a banana

  4. Hello! Dont know if I missed something but what was the result?!

    • The result never made it onto the blog. Basically, it was VERY salty fruit. I think with a little more finagling we could have made a tasty syrup, but on the first try it was tricky to get the ratios right.

  5. Curing fruit is common in Asia, especially Vietnamese cuisine. Chanh muối is a particular drink recipe that involves curing lemons or limes. Additionally, a few African countries will cure lemons and use the cured rines in their cous cous. The used in curing citrus will break down the rines and release lactobacillus a bacteria that helps your gut/digestive tract. There are several articles online if you look hard enough 🙂

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