After jams, jellies, pies, sauces, it’s time for making some apple cider with the start of the fall season. A delicious non-alcoholic beverage, apple cider is one of the most popular drinks enjoyed throughout the winter season. The refreshing tartness and the fresh steaming smell of apple cider draws the onlookers towards itself. While apple cider is largely available at most grocery stores, the taste of fresh, homemade apple cider just cannot be compared to anything that’s offered by all brands. Though apple cider was traditionally a holiday beverage, it is now enjoyed by all cider lovers round the year. Hot or cold, a tasty cup of fresh apple cider can swipe you off your feet. What’s more? Making apple cider is pretty easy and fun. All you need to do is follow the instructions given below to make your own batch of fresh apple cider.
Apple Cider Recipe
Choose Your Apples
Different varieties of apples are used for making most commercial apple ciders. However, the best apples picked up for making a sweeter cider, include Red Delicious, Jonagold, Green Delicious and Fuji apples. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Winesap, and Macintosh, produce a tarty taste and hence, are used for making a tangy and sharp flavored apple cider. While making apple cider at home, you can either opt for mixing various apples or pick up your favorite ones. While considering different varieties, get a mixture of red, green and gold for the best flavor. Since cider tastes best when cooked from fresh apples, try to get hold of an orchard or local farmer nearby for the freshest pick. Make sure that the apples are healthy and not battered or bruised. To make one gallon of apple cider, you should have 36 apples.
Preparing Apple Cider
- Wash off all the apples thoroughly under running water to get rid of any dirt or pesticides, especially if they are non-organic. However, even if the apples are organic, give them a good rinse to make sure that they are clean from any grime.
- Slice the apples into half and carve out the center of each half to get the flesh. Chop the cored apples into quarters and puree them into a smooth paste in a grinder or food processor.
- Continue processing till you achieve a finely ground pulp as the finer the pulp, the more juice you can extract.
- Take a large container and spread cheesecloth over it.
- Transfer the apple pulp onto the cloth and strain through the cheesecloth.
- Gently squeeze the pulp on the cheesecloth to extract all the possible juice beneath.
- Add flavor to your apple cider by throwing in some cloves, nutmeg, lemon peel or ginger.
- For some holiday flair, add in a cinnamon stick.
- Pour in a little rum and brown sugar for a harder cider.
- Store the apple cider in an airtight container. The cider keeps good for about seven days when stored in the refrigerator.
- If you have to store the cider for a longer period, say three weeks, pasteurize the cider by heating it at 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) and then storing it further.
- All in all, the apple cider tastes best when extracted fresh out of the strainer.