Pear-Juniper Berry Sauerkraut

Give classic sauerkraut a fruity boost fermenting pear slices and juniper berries alongside the usual red cabbage. But if you want to go classic, you can always just omit the pears and berries from this easy recipe.

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  • Makes: 24 servings
  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Makes: about 6 cups
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Stand: 2 hrs to 24 hrs + 2 to 3 weeks

Pear-Juniper Berry Sauerkraut

Directions

  1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Quarter cabbage heads lengthwise; remove cores. Using a mandoline, food processor, or large chef's knife, finely shred cabbage. Measure 2 1/2 lb. shredded cabbage.
  2. Place shredded cabbage in a large ceramic crock, glass container, or plastic food container that holds at least 1 gal. Add the remaining ingredients; toss with clean hands or tongs. Let stand 10 minutes. Using a clean, heavy plate that fits just inside the container, press plate down on cabbage mixture. Let stand at room temperature 2 to 24 hours, tossing cabbage mixture and pressing plate down on cabbage every hour or until enough liquid is released to cover cabbage by at least 1 inch. (If cabbage does not release enough liquid, you will need to add additional brine to the cabbage. Make a brine by combining water and pickling salt in a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tsp. pickling salt, then add just enough of this brine to cover the cabbage.)
  3. Place a large resealable plastic bag filled with 1 qt. water plus 4 tsp. pickling salt (or a clean 1-gal. jug full of water) on plate to weight it down. Cover container with a clean dishcloth or loose-fitting lid. Place container in a cool place out of direct sunlight to ferment 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. Every 2 or 3 days, replace dishcloth with a clean dishcloth, skim off any white residue that forms on surface of cabbage mixture, and clean and replace plate. If any discolored cabbage appears at the top, remove and discard it. If the water level gets too low, add enough brine to cover. The cabbage mixture must be submerged completely in brine to ferment safely. If you see any mold at the surface, discard sauerkraut. The sauerkraut is ready when it has a slightly crunchy texture and pleasantly tangy flavor.
  5. Transfer undrained sauerkraut to canning jars or airtight containers; seal and label. Store in refrigerator up to 2 months.

From the Test Kitchen

Classic Sauerkraut

Prepare as directed, except omit pears and juniper berries.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 13 calories, 1 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1% vit. A, 28% vit. C, 450 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 1% iron

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Nutrition Facts (Pear-Juniper Berry Sauerkraut)

  • Per serving:
  • 24 kcal ,
  • 0 g fat
  • (0 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 0 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 0 mg chol. ,
  • 452 mg sodium ,
  • 6 g carb. ,
  • 2 g fiber ,
  • 4 g sugar ,
  • 1 g pro.
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