One of my favorite things about fall is visiting the apple orchards in our nearby valleys. The leaves are changing, the early morning air is crisp and dense with fog and there are always festivals showcasing the results of Johnny Appleseed’s vision from long ago. There are many ways to enjoy apples…baked with cinnamon, tossed in salads, cooked with chicken, tasty sauces and even in a grilled cheese sandwich.
The cider recipe below is from the Annual Apple Tasting event at the Portland Nursery but, before you read how to make it, I’d like to share why an apple a day really does help keep the doctor away.
Apples contain antioxidants which helps fight off pollutants; fiber which helps lower bad cholesterol which helps prevent strokes; increases the metabolism which is good for the waistline, and reduces inflammation which is great for the heart! According to Natural Society, and online health and nutrition site, drinking apple juice three times per week, can reduce your chances of Alzheimer’s by 75%!
At Hearthstone, our dining rooms have fresh apples, apple juice, apple pie and just about anything you can think of with apples. Come in for a complimentary lunch and have some for yourself.
Enjoy this recipe from the Portland Nursery:
Momma’s Homemade Apple Cider
Yield: 0.5 Gallons
- 8-10 Apples, Granny Smith/Fuji
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4 T Allspice
- 3 Cloves
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Ginger, Chunked
- Quarter your apples (no need to remove peel or seeds)
- In a large stock pot add your apples and fill with water (just enough to cover apples)
- Add your sugar
- Wrap your cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger in a doubled up cheese cloth and tie, add this to apples and water.
- Boil on high for 1 hour uncovered, checking frequently
- Turn down heat and let simmer for 2 hours covered
- Take off heat and let cool
- Remove spices and mash up apples to a pulp like consistency (Potato Masher works for this)
- Once cool, pour into a strainer over a large bowl. When most of the juice has drained away, put the remainder of the pulp into a doubled up cheese cloth & squeeze over the bowl until no more juice comes out.
- At this point you can either restrain the juice to get out the little pulp bits or leave them in.
- Store in airtight container in fridge for up to a week or freeze for later use.
- Reheat when ready to enjoy. You can have it plain or add caramel syrup, caramels, whipped cream, cinnamon, or marshmallows if you like.