These honey fermented cranberries are a healthy, colorful, and delicious fermented recipe that is perfect for your Thanksgiving or holiday dinner. Fermented honey cranberries are made from nourishing real food ingredients, and are a wonderful recipe for gut health.
Fermenting Cranberries in Honey
It’s amazing to me how easy fermenting in honey is!
I’ve done all kinds of fermenting, and even have a recipe for fermented cranberries in a traditional brine. But for some reason it took me a long time to ferment in honey. Well, I can tell you now that has changed!
When I started my fermented honey garlic a while back, it got me thinking about what else I could ferment in honey.
I have seen recipes for berries in honey, and being that we’re coming up on the holiday season, fermenting cranberries in honey seemed like the natural thing to do.
I’m so glad I did, because these fermented honey cranberries are awesome! This is probably how I will make my cranberries every year from now on.
Fermented Honey Cranberries Recipe
Making these fermented honey cranberries is so easy that it hardly even needs a recipe!
The amounts are variable based on how much you want to make. I used a quart sized jar, and that seemed like a good amount to start with.
Prepare the Cranberries
The first step is to give the raw cranberries a little pop to break their skins and release some juices. Cranberries are tough to penetrate, so this will give the fermentation a bit of a head start.
I did this by poking them with a fork all over, but you could also give them a couple of pulses in a food processor.
Frozen cranberries can be used instead of fresh, but it is best to thaw them before adding the honey.
Add the Honey
Fill the jar with the cranberries, ginger slices, and cinnamon stick, leaving about an inch or so of head space.
Add in the orange juice (and the zest if you’d like as well), then cover the cranberries with raw honey.
It may take a while for the honey to make its way all down to the bottom of the jar, so you may need to wait a bit for it to settle, then add some more.
The cranberries will want to float to the top, but that’s ok.
Cover and Flip
Cover the jar tightly and give it a few turns to coat all of the cranberries in honey.
If you are using a metal canning lid, I recommend putting a piece of parchment paper in between the lid and and jar, as the metal can sometimes react with the fermentation process.
Then loosen the lid and put the jar in a dark corner somewhere. It would be wise to put it on a plate in case there is any honey overflow as it ferments, which is likely.
Every day or so tighten the lid and give the jar a few turns to coat the cranberries in honey again, then re-loosen the lid.
Within a few days to a week you will start to see bubbles forming in the jar! Sometimes the bubbles are very small or unnoticeable, but they usually do show up at some point.
The honey will turn a lovely red color, and will become more runny as time goes on. The cranberries will start to lose some of their tartness, and will become a bit more wrinkled.
These can be left to ferment for quite a while, several months even, and will be tastier as time goes on. I think the flavor even after just a few weeks was amazing!
Using Fermented Honey Cranberries
You can serve and eat these delicious fermented honey cranberries as is, or you can try putting them in a food processor to grind them up into more of a cranberry sauce.
I think I’m going to try that on Thanksgiving this year. It’s never a bad idea to get some fermented food in during a big meal!
If you are concerned about botulism, which is very rare in this type of ferment, use a pH test strip. Botulism spores can’t reproduce with a pH of less than 4.6. Honey is usually around 3.9, but that can vary between brands. Cranberries are also highly acidic.
If the pH is too high, add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to add more acidity and retest. This is generally not needed, but I do want to mention it to ease any worries.
Honey cranberries should not be given to babies under one year of age.
Low on time and want an amazing, non fermented, cranberry sauce recipe? This Simple Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Ginger is my favorite!
Have you ever fermented cranberries? What did you think of the result?
More Fermented and Infused Honey Recipes
Enjoy these other honey ferments and infusions!
Fermented Honey Cranberries
- Break the skins of the cranberries to release some of their juices by either piercing the skins with the tines of a fork, or gently pulsing in a food processor.
- Place the bruised cranberries into a quart-sized mason jar. Add the ginger slices, cinnamon stick and orange juice and stir. Then pour in enough raw honey to cover the cranberries.
- Place the lid securely on the jar, then give it a few turns to coat all of the cranberries in the honey.
- Loosen the lid, then place the jar into a dark place to ferment. Every few days, tighten the lid, give the jar a few turns, then re-loosen the lid.
- Within a few days to a week you will begin to see small bubbles forming in the honey.
- The honey cranberries will ferment for a month or more, but you can eat them at any time. The honey will turn a red color, and will become more runny as time goes on. The cranberries will start to lose some of their tartness, and will become a bit more wrinkled.
- Store in a cool place for many months or even a year or more.
- It’s important to use raw honey for this recipe, as it has all of the bacteria and wild yeast that is necessary for fermentation.
- The small amount of orange juice will create just enough liquid for fermentation to happen.
- It’s a good idea to put a plate underneath the jar during fermentation, as it will likely bubble up and a little bit of honey could possibly drip out.
- If you are concerned about botulism, use a pH test strip. Botulism spores can't reproduce with a pH of less than 4.6. Honey is usually around 3.9, but that can vary between brands. Cranberries are also highly acidic.
- If the pH is too high, add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to add more acidity and retest. This is generally not needed, but I do want to mention it.
- Honey cranberries should not be given to babies under one year of age.