Forbidden Fall Cider

 

My pumpkins make their grand appearance out of the attic in August, and by September the house smells of cinnamon and apple pie. It doesn’t matter that Florida is the stepchild to every season– every season but one, “Sweltering Summer”– my family and I have become quite good at bringing the holidays into our home while residing in a state that boasts beach weather right through Christmas. 

 

There are many recipes I enjoy making for my family during these cozy months. Most of them cinnamon–y and, pumpkin is usually a staple ingredient. This year, however, I’ve been drawn to “The Forgotten Fall Fruit”, I’ve made breads and cookies– all of them delicious, moist, and each bite ends in the tangy sweetness that only an apple can bring you. One of this year’s favorites in the Modlin home is our “Forbidden Fall Cider”–my husband may or may not of had a hand in the name:). 
Ingredients:
1 Gallon filtered water
8  apples, with skin, and quartered (I used a variation of Granny Smith, Gala, and Macintosh)
1/2 an orange quartered
3 Cinnamon Sticks
7 Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp fine salt (I use pink)
1 tbs Vanilla paste (or extract)
1/2 cup of honey
You will also need  cheese cloth, twine, strainer, glass jars for storage, potato masher or wisk.
DIRECTIONS:
Pour water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
Wrap cinnamon and cloves in a cheesecloth creating a spice pack– tie the end tightly with twine. 
Add apples, oranges, and spice packet to the pot and bring it back to a boil.
Add nutmeg, sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon and salt. Cover and let it simmer for two hours.
If you’ve ever seen my previous recipes you’ll understand why the image of me adding salt to the recipe is missing… I was busy nursing a baby during that part:), and I still haven’t mastered photography while nursing and baking. #momlife
After two hours, shut your stove off. Carefully remove the spice packet and orange quarters. Grab your potato-masher or (in my case) whisk. Mash the apples for a couple of minutes, until they’re the consistency of a thick applesauce.
Finally, mix in the honey.
Now you’re ready for the straining process. I usually take a family vote on this one. With apple pieces or without?? My tribe always votes WITH… So I use a pasta strainer that has some fairly small holes. It still allows for some of the apples to get into our cider–which we all love! If you prefer a very “clean cider”, I suggest using cheesecloth to strain the liquid. Cheesecloth will prevent anything from getting into your liquid.
Once you’ve strained most, or all, of the apples out of your cider, you’re ready to store it in your Jar. I prefer glass, either a couple of mason jars or whatever you prefer. It’s important for your storage container to have a tight fitting lid. I found this jar at HomeGoods… It was beautiful, cheap, looked like fall with it’s orange details, and the bonus was the design on the front of it reads “Brooklyn”, my baby girl’s name (and a pretty cool city).
That’s it… You’re all done! This Apple Cider is so good both warm or cold. It keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator, and you can make it ahead and put it in the Crock-Pot to warm the next day.
Happy Fall!!!
Jenn

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