Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homemade Apple Cider

I absolutely love apple cider! It brings back memories of fun trips to apple picking in orchards near my home when I was a kid. For me, the smell of apple cider means autumn is here.
Being that it is now apple picking season, the time is ripe for me to teach you to make homemade apple cider. Apple cider around here is quite expensive to buy, so expensive that even with all the excuses in the world, I couldn't justify spending my money on it.
Making apple cider is easy, delicious and can be quite cheap if you buy apples on sale or forage for apples around your neighborhood. Best of all, these instructions require no special equipment like a cider press!

Homemade Apple Cider

A whole bunch of apples, preferably of more than one variety.

Equipment Needed
Cutting board
Apple corer (optional)
Food processor/blender
Large bowl

1. Core your apples. An apple corer makes this easier, but a knife also works fine. (Set aside your cores. I'm looking into seeing if you can make apple cider vinegar with this.)

2. Cut your apples into small pieces, then put them in your blender/food processor. The smaller the better, because unless you have liquid in your machine, it will be hard for the machine to process the large chunks, and you won't have any liquid to start off. If the machine's blades are just spinning around and doing nothing, add a drop of water. You'll need to do batches in the food processor because you can't fit all the apples in one go.

3. Blend/process your apples until they reach apple sauce consistency.

4. Lay a cheesecloth inside a strainer which you've put inside a large bowl. Pour the apple sauce into the cheesecloth, leaving a little bit still in the machine to make it easier to process the next batch of apples.
5. When all the apples are pureed, gather the ends of the cheesecloth together and twist to tighten. Press on the pulp inside the cheesecloth to squeeze out the cider. As you empty the cider from the cheesecloth, twist the ends even tighter and press again.

6. Pour the cider from the bowl into a pitcher and add cinnamon to taste.

With the leftover pulp, you can do many things, like put them into your pancakes. I froze mine to use at a later date, but the kids and I just enjoyed eating it by itself. Quite tasty!

Have you ever made apple cider before? What memories does apple cider bring up for you?

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