Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Fall: Making Apple Cider

So, my son is in kindergarten now. I plan to post some pictures of his first day at some point. Anyway, it's month 2, right? We've already gone on our very first field trip!

The kids were learning about the life cycle of an apple. So, after a tour of the historic farm, the entire class got to help make apple cider!

This was by far the highlight for all the kids. It was fun and tasted delicious, so of course G insisted we should make some of our own at home. Because we have an apple press at home. Okay, we don't. But it turns out the modern comforts of home allow a slightly simpler approach. Don't get me wrong - it's still a lot of work, but the result is worth it.

I should say here that I'm no expert, but I successfully made a batch of apple cider on my own, so that counts for something right? I guess I'm just saying - here's my how-to/recipe. Take it or leave it.

First of all, it takes a WHOLE LOT of apples to make apple cider. I used approximately 30 apples, but they were the little ones you get in the bargain bags. Still, that's a lot of apples, right?

Traditionally, you don't bother removing the core or the peel. I decided that might not work for me, so JUST IN CASE, I cut the core out as I was splitting the apples.

I don't have a grinder like the one we used at the farm, and I don't have a fancy blender like a VitaMix or a Blendtec. Instead, I used our less expensive Black & Decker blender. I started off with a handful or two of apple slices, pulsing to get things started. Occassionally I used a slotted wooden spatula to push things down and around. As the apples became more puree than solid, I would add another handful or two of slices.

Once the blender was full, I would pour the blend into a large bowl lined with cheesecloth.
And once the final apple was puréed & poured into the bowl, I gathered all the edges together. Then I twisted and squeezed until I had as much cider as I could reasonably expect. The final product was funneled into an old gallon jug. The cider should keep in the fridge for about a week. 

So that's my attempt to share another recipe with you, and I have another up my sleeve coming soon. No measurements, just lots if good guesstimations. Or something. 

Have you made apple cider before? What are your favorite fall time treats? 

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