Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hot Apple Cider

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This is the first year I have been away from my family for Thanksgiving and it feels a little weird. I went home last weekend, though, and supplied the apple cider for my family. It was super easy to make and the only down side I found was that using a juicer instead of an apple press doesn't produce as much juice. If you have a compost pile or feel brave enough to make some apple bread out of the pulp, it doesn't really matter whether you use a juicer or not. So, in honor of Turkey Day, here's how I did it...
Of course, you have to get a bunch of apples! I still have a bunch on the tree in my yard, although some trees are already devoid of apples at this point. If you don't have access to a tree, you'll want about 12 organic apples. Organic is really important when juicing because all those pesky chemicals and pesticides that your body can sorta handle in whole fruit form are now reduced to a much higher concentration in your juice. It's just safer if you go with organics when juicing. 
Here's my haul of apples, probably fuji but I'm not sure what kind they are. 
Next, you'll want a clean working space, a cutting board and a sharp knife. You might want to work on a big table with nothing on it depending on your juicer. Mine likes to splatter a little bit so I used a scarf as a "table cloth" and just washed it when I was through. 
Chop up all those apples and make sure all the stems, seeds, and hard bits are cut off. You can leave the peel on if you want since the juicer can usually handle a little bit of peel. 
My juicer is a Waring Pro that I got last year on Amazon. The way it works: there is a small cutting thing, sorta like a cheese grater that rotates when the machine is turned on. The funnel at the top allows you to feed your fruits and vegetables into it and the pulp collects in the black bowl. The juice comes out of a little hole under the cheese grater part that leads to the funnel and into the silver cup. Mine splatters because the blade rotates so fast that it produces a lot of froth and air to get into the juice. When the bubbles pop, juice flies out a little bit. No problem if you have protected your work surface though. 
I collected all the pulp and used a cheese cloth to squeeze more of the juice out. I also made bread from the pulp but it was dense and very ugly. I'm going to continue experimenting with the pulp because I don't want to waste it. 
Finally, I added 1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and ginger to my cider. I heated it up on the stove until it boiled to pasteurize it a little bit and then served it in mugs! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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