A blog about food
Homemade Apple Cider: A Little Holiday Glow
Fall has come and gone in the Wood River Valley as the snow is sticking and the mountain has begun welcoming all those downhill dreamers. With the Holiday Season upon us, I find my anticipation for winter growing as I dream of cuddling by the fire, hot toddies, homemade soups, baking, and finally getting to all those projects I hold on to for the long winter nights.
One such project is getting through my pantry and freezer—and this is no small task. Between the amazing half-pig my dear friend, Mrs. Ann, gave me for an early Christmas present, and the baskets of fruit and vegetables I have delivered weekly, it is safe to say that my pantry and freezer are both pretty full. Cooking is as much a hobby and pastime for me as it is a job. And like any good cook, I refuse to let anything go bad and just like any true southerner, feeding people is my way of showing love and that I care.
Right now in my storage, I have an over-abundance of apples. I can get through potatoes, tomatoes, squashes, cabbages and peppers easy enough, but the quantity of apples in the Pacific Northwest is amazing and makes them that much harder to cook through. At the moment, I am overloaded with crisps, pies, granolas and sauces. And with the temperatures dipping to single digits, it was obviously time to break out the perfect cider recipe.
This has now become something I look forward to making every year, when the apples are a bit overripe and there are still too many to eat in a month. I enjoy it warm, cold, in my smoothies, or spiked with a bit of rum for some holiday sparkle. It takes some time but is super-easy so do it while cleaning or hanging at home.
Yummy Apple Cider
- 13 apples – scrubbed, cored, quartered.
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon allspice
- 1 star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- dash (1/8 teaspoon) of the following: cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
Put all the apples in a large stock pot and cover (about two inches) with water. Bring to a boil. Boil gently, uncovered, for one hour. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, cooking an additional 1.5 hours. Let your apples sit and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Then strain again through a fine cheesecloth to filter out all solids. Store your cider in a air-tight lidded container in the fridge.
Serve hot with cinamon sticks and add a bit of rum or bourbon for some happy Holiday glow.