The Old World Dutch were among the earliest to bring back spices from Asia. You can sense the cook’s pinches and dabs of rare spices evolved into a traditional Dutch blend known as Speculaas, which marries well to the sweetness of beets. I fashioned this warm, sweet blend—used mainly in their Christmas cookies—to make beets glow any time of year. You will need to prepare Speculaas before you can create Ludwig Van Beets .
For the curious, Ludwig Van Beethoven translates as Ludwig of the Beet Garden
Prep Time: 45 mins Jar Size: 2 quarts
Speculaas Spice Recipe -After roasting anise & coriander place all in spice grinder or mortar and grind finely
- anise seed, 1 tsp., dry roast in heavy skillet
- coriander seeds, 1 tsp., dry roast in heavy skillet
- nutmeg, 2 tsp., whole nutmeg and freshly grated is best
- cinnamon powder, 2 TBS.
- cloves, whole, 2 tsp., or pre-ground
- peppercorns, 2 tsp., fresh ground is best
- 2 lbs. beets, whole (about 12), peel and coarsely grate
- 1 TBS. Speculaas spice blend
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 TBS. fresh ginger, grated
- 2 TBS. sea salt, unrefined, 2 scant TBS. (Use ground salt, not coarse for this recipe
- 2 TBS. sugar, unrefined cane sugar is a good choice
- 2-4 TBS. water, enough to thin the brine, which thickens during fermentation
- Peel four long strips of lemon zest and reserve for final loading of the jar.
- Prep beets and place in large bowl. Mix in the sea salt and the Speculaas. Use your hands to squeeze and massage the beets until a rich brine develops
- Pack a clean 1 quart jar, lightly tamping each time you add beets until about 3 inches from the jar lip.
- Make brine by dissolving salt in water (TIP: put room temperature water & salt into another jar, secure lid and shake vigorously).
- Pour brine over vegetables; gently wiggle jar to release all air bubbles. Continue filling until approximately ½ inch below the lip of the jar.
- Press brine overflow cup into jar until just level with jar rim. (TIP: you may want to do this with jar in your sink as some brine should spill over).
- Allow cup to float as you clean off any veggie or seasoning debris from jar rim to ensure good seal.
- Twist on Perfect Pickler® lid until just hand snug.
- Pour tap water into airlock to the max line and gently twist into lid.
- Place in cool location (68-74 degrees) and wait patiently for 4 days!
After Fermentation - Remove kit top and empty the recipe into a large bowl. Add the sugar and enough filtered water to moisten the recipe if it has become thickened. Repack and refrigerate.