The Underrated Pickle You Should Make This Fall

We all love fall; the autumn leaves are turning, it's time to bust out the sweaters, and it calls for cozy recipes using fresh, fall produce. While sweet treats, like pumpkin pie, or savory dishes, like butternut squash soup, come to mind when we think of the comforts of fall, a reshaping of your mindset could open up a world of possibilities when it comes to new fall recipes. Pickling produce could be a great way to not only preserve fall-harvested ingredients, but also a delicious twist on your usual go-to ideas.

Pickling is an age-old preservation technique that uses an acid solution, such as vinegar, or a salt solution, known as a brine, to ferment fruits and vegetables — resulting in pickled food (via ScienceDirect). The most popular type of pickled produce has easily become pickled cucumbers – which have even coined the name. All sorts of produce, and even meat, however, can be pickled. When it comes to fall fruits and vegetables, there's one that stands out in abundance. It's something we usually attribute to sweeter dishes or use in baked goods, but why not add a tangy twist to transform its flavor?

Pickled apples add a sweet and tart flair to fall dishes

We would never say no to caramel apples, cinnamon apple pie, and apple cider donuts, but let's give some thought to pickled apples. Perfect to use on pulled pork sandwiches, paired with aged gouda, or used for topping tacos, pickled apples have a harmonious balance of sweet and tangy. Apples are typically pickled in a liquid made from vinegar, salt, sugar — such as brown sugar or maple syrup — and warm, fall spices, per MasterClass. They can either be canned and enjoyed over time or prepped and refrigerated for up to a month.

Although pickling was created as a preservation method, quick pickling has also become quite popular. Done in about ten minutes, versus the days or weeks traditionally used, there is no excuse not to try pickled apples, according to America's Test Kitchen. In case you need even more of a reason to quick pickle apples, you can also save the brine and use it up to two more times. Next time you end up with a huge basket full of apples from apple picking and you're not sure what to do with — pickle them. Trust us, it's worth it!