What to do With all Those Apples: Make Homemade Cider!
Long before the pumpkin spiced latte became the fall drink of choice, the beverage that signified the start of autumn was apple cider. It dates back to at least 55 BC when the Romans first arrived in England and discovered the people there enjoying a drink made form the apples that grew plentiful in the region. This beverage is made from the juice of apples that have been crushed in a cider or fruit press, a machine that is rarely seen today but was once commonplace. While it’s certainly easier to head down to the local market and pick up a jug of cider, there is something satisfying about homemade cider and if you happen to have an apple tree, it’s a great way to use those apples before they go to waste. Best of all, you don’t need to track down a cider press to do it. Here is an easy and fun way to make your own, with equipment you already have or is easy to find.
Easy Homemade Cider with Spices
The best cider comes from a mix of tart and sweet apples. If you don’t have a variety in your yard don’t worry, you can supplement with some from the local supermarket or farmstand. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal taste, if you like sweet cider, use all sweet apples or if you have only tart apples and don’t want to buy extra, you can always add sugar.
What you’ll need for 1 gallon of homemade cider:
- 18 – 20 apples
- 1-2 Cups of sugar (optional)
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 30 Allspice Berries
- a large stock pot
- spice bag
- big spoon
- potato masher
Instructions for Making Homemade Cider
- Wash the apples, quarter them, place in a large stock pot and cover with water. Be sure your pot is big enough to hold everything with about three to four inches of space at the top. If you don’t have a pot big enough, you can cut the recipe in half or do it in two batches.
- Tie the cinnamon and allspice in a spice bag and place in the pot.
- Boil for an hour, be sure to check often and gently stir each time.
- After and hour, taste a little to see if it’s sweet enough. If not, add the sugar and stir.
- Cover, turn the heat to low and let simmer for two more hours.
- Remove spice bag and mash the apples with a potato masher and let cool. You can speed up the process by placing the pot in an ice bath if you are impatient.
- Line a strainer with doubled up cheesecloth and pour the mixture through it into a large bowl. Use the cheesecloth to wrap the pulp and squeeze out any remaining cider.
You now have homemade cider! To store, simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week and enjoy hot or cold.
What is your favorite thing to do with the apples from your yard? Do you have a different, or superior apple cider recipe? Feel free to share with us in the comments or on Facebook.