Apples, everywhere! For the whole month of September, all I saw was apple recipes everywhere. Yet not a single cider recipe! I mentioned last week that we picked apples at Gram’s house. Well, Gram’s apples aren’t perfect (they had a few skin blemishes) but they were perfect for cider!
The motor runs a grinding mechanism to chew up the apples, but then the press must be cranked by hand.
We saved a bunch for our fresh pressed cider and homemade doughnut party, but we also started a batch of hard cider!
Like milk, cider should be pasteurized to kill off any bacteria before drinking. Just heat it up to 160*F. I prefer to use sweet apples to make cider so that it doesn’t need to be sweetened. Ciders are best when they are a blend of apples. This one had Cortland, Macintosh, and Golden Delicious.
Now spice it up! I like my ciders with a really mild spice, but since we were having a party, I tried it two ways. The first was with Penzeys mulling spices. I used 1 tbs in 2 qts of cider. It was strong! Penzeys uses mace in their spice, and it had quite a bite!
The other spice I tried was much more mild. I based it on a variety of recipes, including the roasting element that I only saw in this recipe here. It starts by pan toasting a cinnamon stick, some whole cloves, and I threw in some whole allspice. I’m sure the peppercorns would have been good too, but I was trying to keep this milder. I definitely wish I’d used two cinnamon sticks though.
The apple cider gets poured right over the toasted bits and heated to boiling. Then turn down to a simmer and add some orange slices. The cider is smiling!
Simmer for 30 minutes, then let it cool a bit and serve it up with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick!
Mmmmm so good! I really love the orange in here – the CFE recipe says you can use lemons, limes or oranges, but I really couldn’t imagine this recipe with anything other than oranges.