This pickled apple relish easily comes together and pairs perfectly with salmon rillettes.
- Pickled Apples:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup apple juice
- 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (¼ inch)
- Pickled Apple Relish:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning to taste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup pickling liquid reserved from pickled apples
- small pinch xanthan gum (optional, see note)
- ⅓ cup diced celery (¼ inch)
- ⅓ cup diced fennel (¼ inch)
- 2 ½ to 3 cups pickled apples, drained
- ½ cup whole grain mustard
- ⅓ cup diced shallot (¼ inch)
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine sugar and salt with peppercorns and coriander. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer. Add the vinegar to the spice mixture and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the apple juice and refrigerate until chilled.
Strain the liquid over the apples. Stir gently until just combined. Let sit for 1 hour, then drain, reserving ½ cup of pickling liquid.
Pickled Apple Relish
In a tall jar combine sugar, salt, cider vinegar, and reserved ½ cup pickling liquid and stir until dissolved. Add the xanthan gum (if using) and blend with a whisk. Liquid will slightly thicken if using the xanthan gum.
Prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the celery and fennel and cook for 5 to 10 seconds, until bright green and crisp-tender. Strain and immediately transfer to the ice bath to stop cooking. Drain celery and fennel.
In a medium bowl combine the pickled apples with the whole grain mustard, shallot, celery, fennel, and pickling liquid. Gently stir in the horseradish and chives. Season with salt to taste.
- Xanthan gum is a stabilizer and thickening agent that will help to thicken the relish, improving its texture. It’s not necessary for a delicious relish, but it’s worth using if you have it in your pantry.
- The apple relish is intended to have an acidic bite to balance the fat of a protein or cheese. If you prefer something a little sweeter, add a little honey.
- Reserved pickled apples can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.