Fermenting with honey is wonderfully easy, and the delicious ferments at the end of the process are both packed with tasty, healthy goodness – yes both ferments. The real plus point for fermenting with honey is that you’ll end up with two delicious ferments: beautiful honied-cranberries and cranberry-infused honey. YUM!
In its raw and natural state, honey is full of enzymes that work to culture, or ferment, given the right environment.
Raw honey naturally has a moisture content below 17% and will often crystallize when sitting in your cupboard or pantry for a period of time due to the high sugar content (primarily glucose) and relatively low moisture content. By introducing additional moisture (in this case the juices from the bruised cranberries) the crystallization process is stunted and the natural enzymes in the honey are allowed to work on the lactic acid present in the berries.
Along with all its other amazing health benefits, honey is also an excellent preservative which means that with this type of recipe (where no brine or whey is added) the ferments may take relatively long – just how long depends on your taste preference.
To speed things up a little (or for variations) you could substitute the cranberries with other more juicy fruits, or you could add a little brine or whey to the mixture.
Store in a relatively cool place and watch for bubbles as an indication that things are happening, and remember to be patient! Fermenting takes time… that’s why we love it!