An easy homemade apple cider recipe to warm the cockles on a blustery day.
Fall season brings back memories of apple picking with my family. We always wanted the most red and perfect apple when we picked and often wondered what happened to the ones that were bruised and fell to the ground. One owner of an orchard told us the "grounders" were used in apple cider. It made sense not to waste any of the delicious apples.
Warm apple cider with cinnamon and cloves is the best way to enjoy the tart apple taste all fall long. Whether you have your own apple tree or want to buy apples it’s an easy process to make your own cider to enjoy with friends and family.
For this recipe I used what I had on hand from my tree, but it depends on your preference. You can mix and match sweet and tart apples or use your favourite. Ideally, use organic instead of treated and waxed apples.
TIP: If you opt to peel the apples beforehand, don’t throw out the pulp. Save it for recipes requiring apple sauce!
(Makes 8 servings)
12 medium sized apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks of cinnamon (can use spoon of ground cinnamon if you don’t have sticks)
2 star anise (optional)
Wash apples and cut into pieces, with or without skins - I left skins on. If leaving skins on, pour boiling water over store-bough apples first then give them a good rub with a tea towel to remove the wax coating. Put apple pieces in a blender or food processor. Grind apples with enough water to chop into a rough, watery mixture.
Put ground apples into a large heavy based pot (minimum 12L) Pot should be filled about 1/2 way with the ground apple mixture. Add lemon juice to stop the mixture from oxidizing immediately and give it a tangy taste. Mix in brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Add enough water to the pot to fill 3/4 way.
Turn stove onto medium heat and boil till mixture thickens and reduces by half. Cool. Take a colander and another pot or bowl lined with the cheese cloth. Pour cooled apple mixture into colander and gather cheese cloth into a pouch squeezing juice out. Discard pulp (or use in other apple recipes). You should be left with 8 cups of apple cider.
Heat apple cider again before serving. If mixture feels too thick add more water and adjust with sugar for sweetness. I personally like my cider slightly thick and tangy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 196 | total fat = 0.47g | saturated fat = 0.08g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 3mg | net carbohydrates = 37.34g | dietary fibre = 6.56g | sugars = 34.44g | protein = 0.72g