Monday, December 16, 2013

Healthy Apple Cider In A Pinch

I do love my hot apple cider in the winter time! It's homemade with raw honey too! And Organic Apples! I just can't go with all that sugary watered down stuff! 

What with the concern of eating GMO apples and the arsenic levels allowed by bottling companies the only thing worth eating or drinking is things you make yourself and things you can possibly grow yourself.

I don't have any of my own apple trees, YET!! This spring I'm hoping to get some put in. I've been researching some good varieties that are suppose to do well this far south.

If you live in the SE Texas area and have had great luck with growing your own apple trees, please let me know what you're growing! I'm all up for some experienced information.

Straining the Pulp

My recipe is really easy and it has all kinds room for personal favorites. So don't be afraid of experimenting a bit. It's really hard to mess up. You don't even need to core or seed any of the fruit. Just be sure to wash all of the fruit thoroughly.

I started out with 7 pretty large Granny Smith apples, but all kinds of different apples would be wonderful in this recipe. Just cut them up in wedges and toss them in a large heavy bottomed pot.

Then I cut one large sweet and juicy orange into wedges and tossed them in the pot.

The next thing was deciding on the spices. I love the cinnamon and had plenty of it on hand.I had purchased a fairly large bag of cinnamon sticks at the farmers market. It seemed to be the real deal and not at all like the superficial stuff at the supermarket. I tossed in what seemed to be a few very large pinches of broken pieces.

I also used mulling spices purchased from the bins at the supermarket and cardamon from the farmers market. The mulling spices include things like cloves that really add some tasty flavors to the apple cider. 

I filled the pot about 3 quarters of the way full with water. Turn the heat on medium and with the lid off for about 30 minutes bring it all to a simmer.

Then cook it for another 30 minutes covered until the fruit becomes tender and soft. At the end of the cooking I stirred in 2 large spoonfuls of raw honey. Use more honey if you want it really sweet. I think I wanted mine sweeter, but there is not a problem off adding it to your cup when serving.

Take out a potato masher and begin mashing all the fruit thoroughly.

Use a fine mesh strainer and begin pouring the liquid through it into another bowl. Just pour a little at a time and with a flat wooden spoon press it through the strainer to get all the extra liquid out.

All that is left to do is funnel the filtered liquid into a glass jug. The longer it marinated to more flavorful it becomes. 

I simply capped it and put the jug into the fridge. Well, we had extra for cider tasting too! Yummy!! I hope you enjoy and please share any of your own experiences with making quick cider. 

OH, and by the way, all the pulp was ravaged by our chickens! What a delicious treat for them too!

Happy Homesteading!

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