|Fall Rolls in Early: Time for Cider!|
|Right Food for the Season - Early Fall|
|Written by Renee Hirschberg|
Originally published on September 14th for Renee's blog, Eat.Live.Blog.
The cool fall air has moved in, the Jewish New Year is in full swing, I have a Monday off, and I have a bag of mixed apples from Honey Pot Hill Orchards sitting in my fridge. It is the perfect storm!
Every once in a while I get a wild hair to take on a new cooking challenge. Lately, the hairs of note include pickles, my famous chocolate beer chili (not yet blogged about), and newly added to my future hairs list is homemade ricotta cheese. So yesterday, with a day off and FINALLY feeling 100% better again, it was time to tackle the bag of apples we brought home from the orchard. But what to make?
I consulted my go-to favorite recipe site AllRecipes.com, and perused their extensive lists of fall and apple recipes. But nothing got me to start heading into the kitchen. I needed something special, something people don’t make every day….something like…Homemade Apple Cider!!
Armed with some general guidelines from a few different recipes on the site, I headed to the kitchen and began the fairly long process. Long is fine though, if you will be home anyway, and if you take into account the UNBELIEVABLE aroma that fills the entire house! Ryan said it best when he said “it’s too bad you can’t take a picture of the way it smells”. If anyone has tips on how to do that, I am all ears!
Homemade Apple Cider
10 Medium apples, cored and quartered
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
Place apples in a large stock pot. Pour water over apples filling to 2 inches above the apples. Turn heat onto medium high, and add the sugar, cinnamon & allspice.
Bring to a slow boil for 1 hour, uncovered (reduce heat if needed to not over boil, but keep it at a slow boil). Cover and simmer on low to medium-low heat for 2 hours. In a clean sink, place a metal strainer over a bowl.
Slowly pour mixture through the strainer. Once the immediate liquid has drained, take a wooden spoon and press the pulp against the side of the strainer to extract any remaining liquid. (Note: You can retain the pulp as applesauce, to make apple butter, or for use in another recipe.) Now, run the liquid through a cheese cloth or coffee filters in order to clarify the cider. This may actually be the slowest part of the entire process. (I hung coffee filters at the top of my jars and secured them with just the jar ring, so I was only able to pour small amounts at a time.) Again, gently press the pulp against the side of the filter, with a spoon, to extract excess liquid. Take extreme care to NOT puncture the filter and have to start that part of the process again!
Refrigerate your cider and enjoy!
My batch made 2 quarts and a pint of cider, but it will all depend on the apples that you use!
Renee Hirschberg came to Boston over 5 years ago from Dunedin, FL. Coming from a family of cookers and eaters, this new stomping ground opened up a whole new world of food exploration! Although she is an avid restaurant reviewer, EatLiveBlog.com actually was developed out of a "bucket list" of sorts and has developed into a portal to tell the world about all of the great food she comes in contact with! Being the marketing consultant for her family run cafe in FL, Taste Cafe, Renee has realized the difference that local food has made in that community, and loves to spread the local food love!