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.