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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.

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      Yes, the apple farm we frequent sells cider slushes! So good!

    2. 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?

      7 Replies
      1. re: raj1

        I make syrup from cider...it's excellent on icecream too.
        I also use cider as a marinade for pork chops...brew for my tea instead of using water. I sometime like to add club soda for a nice refreshing drink.

        1. re: raj1

          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.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            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.

            1. re: Eldon Kreider

              And to gild the gilded lilly, add a splash of brandy.

              1. re: bryan

                If you really want to gild the lily, use a splash of Calvados instead of brandy.

                1. re: Eldon Kreider

                  That sounds great. Will try it when it gets cold out. Perhaps tonight.

                2. re: bryan

                  A little dark rum (like Goslings) in our hot mulled cider made a splash at a recent fall party.

          2. I've never come across non-alcoholic cider. What is it? Apple juice? Please help - is this a USA thing?!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: ali patts

              Non-alcoholic cider is also referred to as sweet cider. Cider in the USA tends to refer to sweet cider. Hard cider is the alcoholic stuff. Unpasteurized sweet cider ferments readily and develops alcohol. Apple juice is sweet cider that has been filtered heavily and pasteurized.

              1. re: ali patts

                Yeah. Apple juice. Unfiltered and usually straight from the farm.

                1. re: rworange

                  Yeah, but tastes nothing like apple juice.

              2. I love this recipe, make it every fall: pan-grilled sausages with apples and onions. Serve with mashed potatoes and wilted spinach or sauteed chard.


                1. pour warmed cider over poundcake
                  create a marinate for roasted chicken
                  addd to salad dressing
                  splash in martinis
                  makes a great stock for squash soup
                  use what you have left as room freshener: heat on low in crockpot with orange peels and cloves

                  1. Apple Cider Chicken- Brown chicken pieces and set aside. Add sweet cider to pan, deglaze and reduce. Add chicken back to pan, add cream, salt, spices (whatever you like), and simmer until thickened. It's creamy, slightly sweet and tangy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JMF

                      I was just about to suggest a similar recipe, with pork chops. :-)

                    2. Apple Acres Farm in Maine makes great Cider Syrup

                      The Farm

                      The Syrup

                      1. I recently made an apple pie and added cider to the crust (instead of some of the ice water). Came out great.

                        1. I've always enjoyed the hotdogs simmered in cider that my local cider mill sells.

                          1. In my family a traditional fall cocktail is cider mixed with vodka over ice.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Spot

                              We like hot cider with rum or bourbon.

                              1. re: noeldottir

                                Sounds weird, but trust me on this. An icy mug, lots of ice cold apple cider and a hefty shot of peppermint schnapps. It's good - honest!!

                                BTW - don't know if there are still places that do this, but when I was a boy growing up in Northeastern Ohio, we would go out every Fall to an orchard. We would pick our own apples and then watch and wait while those apples were run through a very old-fashioned cider mill and bottled up just for us. I just realized how much fun that used to be!

                            2. Fresh apple cider is a great replacement for water in quick bread and pastry recipes in sweet recipes, and for chicken stock in savory recipes.

                              Replacing chicken stock with cider does especially well in pork and chicken recipes.

                              There are mulling spices if you want to drink it as-is, and you can make hard cider out of it,if you are feeling adventurous.

                              Kstroble, I live in N-E Ohio,(Wayne county) and I spent $30.00 yesterday at the orchard on fresh apples. I'm baking apple/pumpkin nut bread as I type.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                Kelli, I grew up in Youngstown and we drove to orchards somewhere within an hour or so, if I recall correctly. I can clearly remember watching the apples we picked go up an old, mostly wooden conveyor belt to be processed and put in the press frames, also wooden, where they would be squeezed into cider. And the fresh apple smells!!! Sigh - I have not thought about all that for years. Your apple/pumpkin nut bread sounds great!! Cheers, Ken