What to do with Apple Cider?
I visited an orchard this weekend (Ritters, N.E. Pennsylvania) and came away with a gallon of Apple Cider. It says "unpasteurised" on the container. Now, what do I do with it?
At the orchard I had a cup of the cider heated (I don’t think any spices were added), and we also had apple cider donuts. Is that it for using this? I’m not even sure how long this is good for, if kept refrigerated.
The cider I grew up with was alcoholic (like Magners), a completely different animal.
Just drink it like apple juice. It lasts a couple of days in the fridge without starting to ferment. It can be frozen. In fact, it freezes very well. One company I know squeezes and freezes it in the field for freshness. I love this stuff not totally defrosted with lots of sludgy ice in it.
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I just remembered this: I've always wanted to buy some cider and boil it down into a syrup. I've only read about this, but I haven't tried it yet. It sounds easy. You just boil a gallon of cider for a few hours until in reduces to just a few cups. Then you use it on pancakes and waffles. Maybe you could do that. Has anyone else done this?
I've done it, although not with a gallon of cider - I did it for one recipe using about 1-2 cups. It's wonderful.
You can also freeze the cider and use it later in cooking (it seems to "separate" while freezing, so I don't think it would be good to drink after defrosting).
As for recipes:
The Pumpkin Cider bread looks REALLY good.
Cider is fine for drinking after freezing and defrosting. We stash a gallon or two from farmers' markets transferred to smaller containers and freeze every year. Sweet cider that has not been filtered heavily has some sediment and yeast, which will settle out regardless of whether it has been frozen. The sludge can be pretty heavy after a some slow fermentation in the refrigerator if the natural yeasts were killed by pasteurization.
A mug of hot spiced cider is great in an Illinois winter. Just steep a cinnamon stick and a few cloves and allspice in hot cider for a few minutes and then pour into mug. To gild the lily add a tiny bit of real maple syrup.