Nothing says fall better than a big glass of fresh-pressed, homemade apple cider.
With apple harvest season at its peak now is the best time of the year to enjoy this popular beverage. It is surprisingly easy to make at home and, of course, delicious. Here’s how to make fresh apple cider in your kitchen.
How to Make Apple Cider
Pick your apples: Grab about ten to twelve apples, wash them, and cut them into quarters. Put them into a large stockpot and add enough water to cover them with several inches of water on top.
Different apples will give you a different taste so don’t be afraid to mix and match the different varietals to give your side a unique flavor. Red delicious and Macintosh are the most popular types of apples and have a standard sweetness. They are ideal for making up the bulk of your cider base. If you like your cider a little on the sweeter side, add in a few golden delicious, which tend to have a crisper, sweeter last to them. Like their name implies, honeycrisp apples have a slight but noticeable honey aftertaste. If you like a level of tartness to your cider try a few granny smiths into the mix. Experiment with different types until you find the mix that best suits your tastebuds.
Add your spices: Add a cup of sugar, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, one teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of salt and nutmeg to the boiling water. You can add or subtract the amount of sugar based on your personal preferences. Use more if you’re using very tart apples, or less for sweeter varieties.
Boil the apples: Bring the mixture to a rolling boil on medium-high heat and cook uncovered for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for another two hours. Remove pot from heat to allow the mixture to cool slightly, making it safer to handle.
Separate liquid and solids: Gently pour contents through a large colander from cooking pot to a carafe or other serving container to remove the big apple chunks. If you don’t like a lot of pulp in your cider, strain it again through cheesecloth to remove the remaining solids.
Choose your serving style: Do you prefer your cider cold and smooth or warm and spicy? You may either chill it in the refrigerator to serve it as fresh, cold apple cider. Since your fresh cider contains no preservatives you should consume it within three to four days, before potentially harmful bacteria can develop.
If hot cider is more your style, you may also turn it into mulled cider. Pour the liquid into a saucepan with additional cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves to taste and simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour in a mug and garnish with an orange slice or cinnamon stick for a perfect hot drink on a chilly autumn day.
No matter how you like it, making apple cider at home can be a lot of fun and kickstart your fall.