September and October are all about harvesting, preserving, and preparing for a long winter. Sometimes that means an overload of pumpkins or the last of the summer berries.
But it can also mean a giant tree of apples falling to the ground quickly. And they're probably going to go bad sooner rather than later.
Sure, lots of chefs turn to apple butter or preserves. However, there's another way to use up a bunch of apples just in time for the chill of November for those of us less canning-inclined. Make some magical apple cider without the use of fancy equipment.
This recipe, courtesy of crazy crafter on Food.com, only requires four staples.
- 10 apples (more if you are using up smaller apples)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks (or 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon)
- 4 tablespoons allspice
- Quarter your apples, leaving the peel and seeds in place. Put them in a large stock pot and then fill the pot with water until the apples are covered.
- Add the sugar. You might want to add more sugar if you are using extremely tart apples that need to mellow.
- Place your cinnamon and allspice into a doubled up cheese cloth, tie it closed, and add it to the pot.
- Boil the mixture uncovered for about an hour and check on it often.
- Turn down the heat and simmer the mixture for another two hours, this time with the lid on. Then, allow the mixture to cool for a couple of hours.
- Remove the spice pack and mash up the apples into a pulp with a potato masher to create the cloudy, flavorful alchemy that makes apple cider so special.
- Strain the mixture through a strainer and over a large bowl to get out the seeds, peels and other large bits. Then, squeeze the remaining pulp in a cheese cloth to get the last bit of juice out of the mixture.
You can drink the cider on the spot or freeze it for later. Otherwise, it will last in your fridge for a couple weeks and can be easily reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
Hint: you can also transform this drink into a warming whiskey apple cider in minutes.