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Apple cider season, what are some of your interesting uses

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  • HillJ Oct 12, 2012 07:41 AM
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My daughter and I just made a batch of apple cider caramels that came out so nice and chewy. Excellent use of apple cider! http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Apple-C...

What creative ways do you use apple cider? Cocktails, baked goods, sauces?

TIA!
J

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  1. Apple cider pound cake, bread and muffins, custard, pork loin chops, apple cider honey roasted lamb .... .............

    69 Replies
    1. re: todao

      apple cider custard, tod? do tell! Got a recipe to point to?

      1. re: HillJ

        J, perhaps one of these would be a good jumping-off point for the custard?

        http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/11...
        http://www.bashfulbao.com/2012/06/app...
        http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/new...
        http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ap...

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Hey there ghg! I've missed you! And, leave it to our favorite search junkie to land a few target recipes over here-THANKS! I can't say I've ever had cider custard before. You? Any particular recipe wow you from the link-list?

          Today I had an apple cider slushy at the marketplace and officially kicked off fall with Macoun apples and cider in my cart!

          1. re: HillJ

            aw, thanks - i've missed you too! my Hounding has ben pretty limited lately.

            i personally haven't had cider custard either, but as far as those links, i think i'd go with the Serious Eats recipe...maybe playing w/the spicing a bit. i like that it doesn't call for as much sugar as the others. the F&W recipe is more of a cream pie, but it sounds divine!

            i'm glad you're enjoying the season's apple bounty. i can't really think about fall comfort food yet with temps in the 90's here!! we had a whopping 2 days of cool, rainy weather before the mercury shot back up.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              You should see be shuttling btwn the warmth of CA and the early fog of NJ week to week. Sometimes I wind up with the wrong suitcase in tow! But Fall on the eastcoast is not to be missed....hence the urge to squeeze in as much fall food love as possible.

              I'm going to have to give this cider custard a look see. The pumpkin custard is going fast and furious around here (MS's recipe) and Indian pudding is on the simmer right now. But those apple cider caramels are to die for!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Yaaaaaaaaaaay! She's back!!

                1. re: mamachef

                  yes, yay!

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    i love you ladies :) now if i could just find my lost cooking mojo, i'd really rejoin the CH fray. i can't remember the last time i prepared a proper meal. it would help if it wasn't so HOT here - makes me not want to turn on the stove or the oven!

                    @J, those caramels sound positively crave-worthy, and Indian pudding & pumpkin custard are two of my favorite Fall foods!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      ghg, every time I make a batch of your black bean dip I smile ;0) the perfect cooler for a hot day!

                      lots of experimenting to do yet but fall is my favorite time of year. the sheer # of new pumpkin-y products on the market blows my mind. Just saw
                      Thomas' pumpkin English muffins this morning on the shelf.

                      and, OT, yesterday I bought my first retail pint of Mr. Green Tea Ice Cream in fresh ginger for $4.99 after waiting what seemed like a century for the label to be sold direct to the public. WF & Dearborn Farms carry it near me. Also comes in green tea, red bean, coconut, pistachio, mango and strawberry. Quality.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        you're killing me with the ice cream - i'm off dairy these days. i could do without the strawberry & mango, but i'd gladly snarf a serving or two of the others. have some for me!!

                        i haven't made my black bean dip in ages - maybe i'll whip up a batch today. guess i should go out & get some fresh cilantro...

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          It's going to be warm in NJ today...so I'm thinking a batch of finger foods and dips is a great way to kick off the evening.

                          you're off dairy? holy 'cow' no Greek yogurt? wow...ghg...that's gotta be difficult to decide!

                          1. re: HillJ

                            well, i've worked my way back to a splash of organic half & half in my a.m. coffee, and a bite of cheese on occasion, but that's it. as much as it pained me to give up my beloved cottage cheese & Greek yogurt, my system really wasn't handling that stuff well anymore :( i'm hoping it's not a permanent change, but for now i'm steering clear.

                            "warm" would be nice - we're roasting here again...back up to 100 on Wednesday.

                            BTW, if you have access to decent ripe avocados, guac is a terrific complement to the bean dip :)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I wound up going in a hummus direction last night but next weekend I'm going to assemble a fish taco vs sushi roll bar and include the black bean dip & gauc (which I made on the thin side, more like a drizzle bottle thickness) on the serving table.

                              It pained me to give up raw mushrooms (I even grew a few from a coffee grind sack) for the same reason.

                              Right now I'm making a cider scone recipe for the morning. I'm thinking a cider glaze with a walnut crumble on top.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                mmm, scones. i haven't had one in YEARS :( yep, a walnut or spiced pecan crumble would work for me!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Hmm, I like the idea of a spiced pecan

                        2. re: HillJ

                          Wait - WHAT? Thomas' pumpkin English muffins? :::::madly scribbling a note to make a stop at the market on the way home tonight!:::::

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Oh yes, I'm keeping a new pumpkin products log just for giggles...it's mind boggling how many new ones come out each year! They tasted "interesting" with the little bits of pumpkin kinda bothering my texture issue...but my dh enjoyed them with pumpkin butter.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              I'm thinking a thin slather of cream cheese - almost like pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting. :-)

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Linda, I'll be curious to hear what you think of them.

                                http://www.biteofthebest.com/thomas-p...

                                also avail in bagels...where I think the cream cheese would work out beautifully.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Just got some pumpkin cream cheese at Trader Joes, if you want to go crazy.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    I tried the pumpkin cream cheese last year and I didn't care for it or the many versions of pumpkin creamer, commercial pumpkin pudding or the bagels. OTOH, the Pumpkin Spice blend coffee beans I picked up thru Green Mountain is delicious.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      So funny, I saw those Green Mountain pumpkin spice K-cups on an endcap yesterday and thought of you...

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        ;) an addiction to be sure!

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Made me wish I had a Keurig, lemme tell ya!

                                      2. re: HillJ

                                        http://www.chow.com/videos/show/super...

                                        Over @ CHOW Supertaster is trying out some less than yummy pumpkin spice products...didn't even scratch the surface...but his sentiments about what we all said....too much of a band wagon jump.

                                    2. re: HillJ

                                      Not a fan of Thomas' bagels. Although I'm now wondering if my local bagel shop has pumpkin bagels.......

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        My local bagel shop has pumpkin coffee. Actually when I was at Trader Joes I was starting to think that the pumpkin craze has jumped the shark, so to speak.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Starting to? lol...the "call it pumpkin" has been growing for a solid five years already...I saw pumpkin GUM and pumpkin gummies in PA.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with HillJ on this - pumpkin coffee (at least here in New England) has been a pretty regular thing for awhile at Dunkin Donuts every autumn. Now it's the K-cups, lots of pumpkin sauces on restaurant meals, etc. But I guess it's no different than Springtime when asparagus or fiddleheads come into their very short local season. But thankfully, we don't see asparagus or fiddlehead coffee, bagels, etc. :-)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Asparagus bagels, lordy...that visual just made me gag........rofl!
                                              A pumpkin curry hummus is in my frig....what to use it with/on?

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                I'm a major pumpkin lover, so guess it took awhile for me to think it was all too much.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  Me too, coll. Which is why the over-use of something so special takes over and ruins the really good select choices. Right now I can walk down the aisle of many grocers and see one pumpkin product after another.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    Once a see pumpkin flavoring sold down the baked goods aisle, I know it's over!

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      Maybe we should start a thread; for some reason Trader Joe is the place it struck me as if half the store was pumpkin oriented. Now pumpkin Gummi I haven't seen yet, but I'm not a candy shopper. I do like the pumpkin spice coffee though.

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Aldi's had 27 pumpkin related products on it's shelf...and all I left with was pure canned pumpkin puree for .99/each. 2 pallets (18 cans). The rest just made me sad.

                                                        Pumpkin spice PRINGLES!! omg, nasty!

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          OK so far Pringles is the winner, Pringles of all things! Because I think the craze is due to trying to cash in on the healthy aspect of pumpkin. I've seen canned dog food that was pumpkin too, but at least that sort of makes sense.

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            A bit of canned pumpkin for cats/dogs is good for their digestive system. I used to have to feed some to one of my late kittehs to help her move things along, so to speak. But not a lot - just a tsp. a day mixed in with her food.

                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                            OK, now pumpkin Pringles is just gross, HillJ!

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Right?! And the broadcasters testing the PRINGLES new "fall" flavors on camera couldn't hide their disdain...band-wagon jumping is never a good idea.

                                                            2. re: HillJ

                                                              Wait, it gets worse. I thought you were joking! Sadly, no. White chocolate peppermint and cinnamon & sugar? What were they smoking?! VILE. Simply vile.
                                                              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10...

                                                              ETA: "Pumpkin Pie Spice, which is available only at Walmart"...AH HA HA HA!

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                No joke! On morning news the broadcasters taste tested all of the new fall flavors and then had to rate them....hard to watch. lol...

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  And the pumpkin craze just made the nightly news on ABC's World News Tonight. The brought up several of the items discussed here, like the Pringles.

                                                                2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  And while it's straying from the original theme of the thread, in case anyone wanted to know what Pringles actually are:

                                                                  http://io9.com/5851487/how-are-pringl...

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    Don't look at me--Munchos are my favorite potato chip-like snack. :)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      It just gets better and better. In the comment section..."At least Pringles are still "considered" a food...wow.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        And even MORE pumpkin insanity? I just got my latest Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. The pumpkin items listed:

                                                                        Pumpkin Bread Mix
                                                                        Pumpkin Ice Cream
                                                                        Honey-Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli
                                                                        Pumpkin Cream Cheese
                                                                        Pumpkin Spice Granola
                                                                        Nonfat Greek Yogurt flavored with Pumpkin
                                                                        Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea
                                                                        Pumpkin Macarons
                                                                        Organic Canned Pumpkin
                                                                        Pumpkin Butter
                                                                        Pumpkin Soup
                                                                        Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix
                                                                        Pumpkin Spice Chai
                                                                        Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse Cake
                                                                        Pumpkin Pie Spice
                                                                        Pumpkin Cheesecake
                                                                        Pumpkin Spice Cake
                                                                        Pumpkin on a Stick (decorative use)
                                                                        Pumpkin-Flavored Dog Treats
                                                                        This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar cereal bar
                                                                        and finally, regular jacko-lantern pumpkins

                                                                        That is 21 items that are pumpkin-related. Oy freakin' vey. Canned pumpkin, jack-o-lanterns, and the pumpkin pie spice are about the only items I'd say are regular. :-)

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          I think the young ladies in front of me at TJ's last weekend must have had at least one of everything on that list, and multiples of some. They kept jumping out of line when they discovered something else with pumpkin in it. "Pumpkin!"

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            The Aldi's stores have 27 products with some form of pumpkin.

                                                                            The pumpkin-sage ravioli from Costco were awful.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              I did break down and buy Green Mountain pumpkin spice K cups at BJs the other day. 80 of those suckers, I'm pushing them on everyone in the house.

                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                Did you like the flavor?

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  Not as much as the pumpkin coffee I get at 7Eleven and similar places. Then again I'm still not in love with the whole keurig concept yet, it was a surprise gift and I'm trying to enjoy it but sort of miss my old Mr Coffee type machine. Everything tastes weak to me, including this flavor. I figured Green Mountain would be good, but it's just "eh".

                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                    I actually agree. My college kid uses a Keurig for boiled water in his apartment, so we bought the K's to try out. The whole bean pumpkin spice from Green Mountain is what I'm drinking this morning and I do enjoy it. A gf mentioned the 7-11 Pumpkin to me this week and she's loving their blend. I wonder what blend it is.

                                                                                2. re: coll

                                                                                  Local friends have been snapping up the various pumpkin K-cups around my area - I think Dunkin Donuts also sells them. And yes, with you having turned pusher, I'm wondering the reason - because you don't like them or because they're so good?

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    I just want to say for the record that I predict curry will become the next pumpkin spice....while stumbling so easily upon the latest list of pumpkin spice infused products (my list topples 100) this season, I've noticed an interesting number of curry-spiced products also appearing on the shelves....

                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                          Wait, REALLY??? Pumpkin spice Pringles? I love pumpkin but thats just nasty.

                                                                          1. re: kubasd

                                                                            http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12292/...
                                                                            everythings coming up pumpkin!

                                                                            Tonight I had a pumpkin-walnut bagel, toasted with honey-walnut cream cheese @ Panera (dinner meeting)....actually not a bad entry into the pumpkin funnel of products.

                                                                    2. re: coll

                                                                      Me too, coll. Which is why I hate when marketers beat it to death. Same with pomegranate a few years back.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Just remembered a pumpkin product I tried recently that gets a big thumbs up. Pumpkin Spice Irish Creme, Molly brand. Didn't expect much but it's really nice.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          Hey, now! Along those lines, I've been enjoying Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur. It's even nicer with a splash (!) of bourbon, said the kat with the heavy hand...

                                                                          http://www.kybourbon.com/index.php/fu...

                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                            A shot of Irish whisky for me, in keeping with the theme.

                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                              Slainte!

                                                                            2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              How about a scoop of pumpkin gelato or ice cream in your coffee?

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                Mmmmmmmm...I need to make that again, thank you for the reminder. :)

                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I love ghg's searches. And I miss seeing her posts as well. :-)

                                              As for me and apple cider, I tried using some of my unpasteurized cider in a baked chicken recipe a few nights ago. It was an unfortunate use of a cup's worth of cider, as the chicken, onions, etc. that were baked didn't have an apple cidery taste at all.

                                              So I'm going to use this thread to see how else to use it. A pumpkin-cider bread recipe resides in my MasterCook at home; that might be one way to use some of it later this week.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                aw, thanks Linda, it's nice to "see" you! :)

                                                i'm thinking you'd have better luck with that chicken dish if you reduced the cider to a glaze and coated everything with it.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Yeah, I agree. Wish I had thought it it myself on Saturday. LOL!

                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                  There's a cider-braised chicken parts recipe making the current rounds on either ATK or Cook's Country. They use cider and apple brandy, plus maybe diced apple, if memory serves. There was discussion about trying various things to bump up the apple flavor before settling on the brandy.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    That would have been my first comment if I were on that thread. A bit of Calvados is always a good add. :-)

                                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  I just looked up the James Beard recipe, which I had ignored becauseI usually find cider pies too sweet. But this modification will be our dessert tomorrow, So thanks yet again, ghg.

                                                  http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/new...

                                            3. Apple cider season coincides with Brussels sprouts season! Brussels sprouts braised in apple cider are a favorite in our house.

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                cayj, how would you go about infusing the cider? right from the start of the braise or roast sprouts then braise in cider?

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I'm a path-of-least-resistance gal here - some methods call for precooking the sprouts, then braising, but I don't bother. Hot skillet, some oil, toss in the trimmed sprouts to spottily brown up. Add some garlic, salt, then the cider, and head toward preferred doneness. Sometimes I use less cider and less time for a lighter sweetness; other times I keep adding cider as it reduces and slowly braise to a thick-ish glaze on the sprouts. It's pretty hard to screw up, really, however you tweak it. This week I glazed them pretty heavily and served with knockwurst. Great combo. And the sprouts are good cold out of the fridge as a snack - a delicious little candied cabbage bite. I generally use a Honeycrisp cider, as I like the slight acidity with the sprouts. The only drawback is we like the dish so much that I rarely cook Brussels sprouts any other way. But as ruts go, it's not a bad rut. This time of year we get bitten by the seasonal bug pretty bad, and have this once or twice a week until the farmers' market supply of sprouts and fresh cider dries up.

                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                    I grabbed a niced stalk of sprouts from the local market and I'm going to give this a try. I have some spicy chicken sausage I'll probably grill to go with. Thank you for sharing your approach, cayj!

                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                      I just tried this after a visit to the farmer's market this morning. Delicious!

                                                      1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                                                        Isn't it? I've been doing the same thing with chard lately, too. Stems cooked down with apple cider first, then toss in the ribboned leaves. Had it with buttermilk mashed potatoes and ham steak tonight. It was like...like...like...chunky, leafy jam, If that makes any sense? I think I'll have the leftover cider-cooked chard for breakfast tomorrow - on toast, with some fresh chèvre. If you like the sprouts+cider, play with some chèvre too...it's wonderful.

                                                        1. re: cayjohan

                                                          oooh, that sounds delicious, too! do you think it would work with kale in place of the chard? I have some kale sitting in the fridge, and also so fresh chevre, so it would be perfect...

                                                          1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                                                            Yes, yes, yes...works wonderfully with kale. The reason I've been using the chard is that the dang critters at my community garden ate all my kale. In fact, I prefer the kale over the chard, if only for the sturdier texture.

                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                      cayj, I hope I've done you proud....after cleaning the sprouts from the stalk, slicing in half and washing well (they were soooooooo dirty) I roasted them in the oven for a 30 mins with just oo, s&p. while preparing a cider glaze on the stovetop which consisted of equal parts apple cider & pomm molasses, orange and lemon peels and just a dash of nutmeg. Then, once removed from the oven I brushed the glaze on the sprouts and returned them to a low broil until caramelized. I like a bit of tooth to b-sprouts so these were not uber soft but later today they will be part of a salad I like room temp....b-sprouts, diced Anjour pears, and pomm seeds over greens.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        Ooooh, HillJ...I think I may have to try your approach as well...sounds even better! (My laziness gets in the way sometimes, and leads me to one-pan thinking.) The sprouts/pear/pomm seed salad sounds delicious...what did you dress it with?

                                                        1. re: cayjohan

                                                          A combo dressing of rice vinegar, olive oil, wee bit of mashed garlic and chards of blue cheese.

                                                          Thanks cayj. You really got me using the cider and stalk sooner than later. They came out delicious.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            You hooked me but good with the blue cheese addition! Looks like another batch of sprouts is on our horizon after tomorrow's farmers' market...thanks so for the salad inspiration.

                                                    3. re: cayjohan

                                                      Oh now I'm mad. Why didn't I read this thread this weekend when I had Brussels sprouts? This would have been perfect.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Careful...they're kind of addictive. My formerly-sprout-hating Mr. Cay begs for them and, as good as B sprouts are, I have to sometimes say no. Elsewise, we'd be eating braised Brussels sprouts at every darn meal this time of year.

                                                    4. I've been making apple cider doughnuts since returning from New England. Thankfully, I can give them to others, so I'm not really eating them myself.
                                                      I used a Smitten Kitchen recipe the first time, it's a cake doughnut made with cider that's reduced by half. Pretty good, for a cake doughnut.
                                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/1...
                                                      The second go-round was a bomboloni recipe from Gena DePalma, which I've always loved. I subbed out some of the proofing water for reduced cider. These were very tender.
                                                      http://leitesculinaria.com/4458/recip...
                                                      I am home making chocolates today and would really like to play around with an apple cider caramel filling, but alas, am out of cider.

                                                      16 Replies
                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                        rabaja, I just bought 2 jugs of apple cider to make several batches this weekend. Our weekend guests are going to love them. Too bad trick or treaters can't enjoy homemade sweets anymore!

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          There are no longer any young kids in this neighborhood, but when I DID have trick or treaters and gave out homemade goodies, I used ziplock baggies - on the inside of the bag, I stuck one of the scores of return address labels that come in charity fundraising mail. I pointed this out to the kids and told them to make sure their parents knew the treat was identified. Hopefully this reassured parents that the contents were safe.

                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            Interesting way to address a parents concerns...my dh would be more concerned giving out our house address to strangers :)

                                                            OTOH, so much of the trick or treating is now private parties/gatherings with the neighbors adding the caramels to our giving table will be easy.

                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                          I must admit I'm not a great doughnut maker. I leave it to the pros but today when I spotted apple cider doughnuts for my hubby I thought of your post.

                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                            I hope your trip East was fun, rabaja! And apple cider doughnuts are da bomb....fresh from the fryer at an apple orchard. :-D

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Our trip was wonderful, LW, thank you!
                                                              Such great weather, with just enough rain, bluster and sunshine to enjoy the fall foliage. It's getting so I never want to leave.
                                                              I'm still thinking about the ultimate cider doughnut...are they often cake doughnuts? Seems those are the most common recipes when I went searching, but I prefer the yeasted variety.

                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                I've only had cider doughnuts in the cake version, never yeasted.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  And I had pumpkin donuts at the cider mill this weekend. DELISH!

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    pumpkin doughnuts?! Now those would be good with some mulled cider too!

                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                      Yes, they were! :) Even better than the apple cider ones.

                                                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      What cider mill do you go to, kattyeyes?

                                                                      1. re: kubasd

                                                                        The Old Cider Mill in South Glastonbury for ol' times sake (plus I like to see the animals), but I'd like to try the little house across from Dondero, farther up the hill past Belltown, when I run out. Um, and as I was typing, I got up to pour myself a glass, shook the container AND THE PLASTIC LID POPPED RIGHT OFF (guess the cider was starting to go) and sprayed cider all over my face and glasses. So, yes, now that I stopped laughing, I will be stopping up near Dondero this weekend to give them a try.

                                                                        ETA: In keeping with this thread's theme, "what are some of your interesting uses"--how about an unintended facial? ;P

                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                          Is that where you are Kattyeyes? Some of my favorite people live there, and I love all the orchards and fresh produce around.

                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                            Oh, I do, too, but no--I'm south and across the river in Middletown. But I misspoke above: the donuts are from Belltown Orchards (my favorite), up off of Foote. They change the donuts with the seasons. My spring fave is cherry, but the pumpkin is great.
                                                                            http://www.belltownhillorchards.com/

                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              That's about 2 seconds away from my family. I bet they go there, too. :)

                                                                        2. re: kubasd

                                                                          Maybe you remember The Old Cider Mill more by how it looks than the name. I think the Riverview Farms people (Robb's Ice Cream et al) run it now. Nothing like fall in New England!
                                                                          http://www.riverviewfarmsct.com/about...

                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                              2. I heat it a bit in the microwave and add spiced rum. Maybe a cinnamon stick as garnish?

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  Now I almost need to run out and buy some. We made mulled cider to go with the doughnuts and it was so comforting in this dreary, grey weather.
                                                                  I simmered the cider with some orange zest, cinnamon stick, and a tiny piece of star anise. It hit the spot.
                                                                  I can totally see adding some rum after five today ;)

                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                    Star anise is a good idea, could serve it in a clear pitcher so it's decorative as well as flavorful. Capt Morgan is especially good for this though.

                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                      Interesting! Need to give more thought to cocktails!

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        I used to this exact concoction on Halloween and warm it up, handing a cup to the close neighbors when they escorted their little ones around.

                                                                        1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                          I've seen this served in bars, it's usually called Witches Tit for some reason.

                                                                    2. re: coll

                                                                      coll, I love warm cider with rum...and another cocktail we tried last year was a combo of Sam Adams Seasonal beer and cider.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        I could see that.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          I also warm it up for a cocktail, but I add Calvados...

                                                                      2. re: coll

                                                                        Swap spiced rum for Tuaca. I just put a sprinkle of cinnamon in mine. They call it "hot apple pie"--I call it delicious, esp. since I am more generous with the Tuaca than the original recipe, HA HA (2 oz. shots in this house).

                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                          I do half and half myself. Gotta keep warm!

                                                                          Never heard of Tuaca before, now I'll have to pick some up for the holidays.

                                                                      3. We love chicken or rabbit braised in cider and onions or leeks.

                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                                                          Me too!

                                                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                                                            I wish I could get my hands on rabbit and goat more easily.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              yes, me too. it appears at the farmers market occasionally.

                                                                            2. re: magiesmom

                                                                              just made rabbit braised with a mustard-cream-cider sauce. used fresh local cider and grass-fed organic cream. swoony good.

                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                This sauce would have done very well for my weekend's chicken dish. Will have to remember to try it.

                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                  there's something about mustard, cream and cider. Great with pork also.

                                                                              2. Warm cider with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and Laird's 7 1/2 year old apple brandy - a fall at the NJ Shore staple for us.

                                                                                1. HillJ, besides mulled cider, my alltime favorite use for it is as a braising liquid for a dish I call Chicken Sebastopol: flattened chicken breasts that I stuff w/ a bread/walnut/apple/celery/onion stuffing; roll and tie them, brown them, and then add the cider when they go into the oven. I finish it by swirling in some butter. And every now and again, I use half white wine or chicken broth w/ the cider. I also like to make cider "jelly" with fresh gelatin; the little cups are very refreshing.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                    Oh my mamac, they both sound terrific. Thanks!

                                                                                  2. One of my standard, recipe-less soups, is kielbasa/cabbage/apple. Always contains seared diced sausage, chicken broth, onion, cabbage, caraway, carrot, celery, garlic, diced apple, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider. Variables are a choice of wild rice, barley, or white beans.

                                                                                    I use apple cider instead of water when making whole wheat pancakes from my favorite mix, Kodiak Kakes. I have also used it in place of half the liquid with cornbread mix and some quickbread/muffin mixes that were gifts from a friend.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                      greyg, that kielbasa dish sounds so comforting! Adding cider in place of water makes perfect, delicious sense, thanks!

                                                                                    2. HillJ, those caramels are screamin' for bourbon. I made bourbon salted caramel apples this week. Maker's shakes hands nicely with caramel.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                        You're reading my mind (once again, kattye). We were thinking of various ways to spike the caramels just this morning. Apple jack, whiskey a go go, bourbon for sure, kahlua, dark rum, etc. and some variations on salt too...like an anise salt..or a vanilla bean salt.

                                                                                        I gotta get more wrappers!

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          I just had a bourbon infused apple cider caramel with my coffee-breakfast of champions!
                                                                                          And a REAL winner !!!

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                            A champion after my own heart! Screw Wheaties! :)

                                                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                                                            Question for you gals about spiking caramels - and I *love* this idea; as HillJ says, endless delicious possibilities! When are you adding the booze, in the beginning with the sugar, cream, etc. or later in the process? I've never added liquid extras to caramels but obviously your booze additions aren't tanking (wow, there's a pun there I think) the results. How much would you add for an 8x8-in pan's worth?

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              For the bourbon I added 1/8 cup just before pouring into the pan. It was my last addition to the mixture, while still good & hot. Quick fold to incorporate.

                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                Excellent, thank you. I see spiked caramels in my future.

                                                                                        2. I would make sorbet.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            I had a fabulous apple cider sorbet at a little restaurant here last year. Maybe this year I'll have to make some of my own ...

                                                                                          2. There's a recipe I adapted from the Frog Commissary Cookbook. Boil 4 cups of good cider down to 2. Add a big jar of sauerkraut (rinsed) and a couple of tablespoons of caraway seeds. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 250-300 degrees for an hour and a half. Brown pork chops with thyme and add to the dish, burying in the kraut, adjust oven to 350, and bake an additional half hour. (Add a little more cider if the dish is drying out.) Serve with baked potatoes.

                                                                                            1. I just made the Apple Cider caramels from the King Arthur blog.
                                                                                              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                              Those also are great. I just took 1st place in the candy division at our state fair with them. Smitten Kitchen is very reliable, but the KA caramels were dead easy. If you make them, please report back and tell me how they compare.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: chazzer

                                                                                                I don't use corn syrup in caramels but thank you for linking the KA recipe here for those CH's who would give the recipe a try. For me it's a texture preference and the inclusion of brown sugar in the SK recipe really makes it for me.

                                                                                                Congrats! on your 1st place award, chazzer!

                                                                                              2. Apple cider reduction to use as a base for a yummy vinaigrette..

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: petek

                                                                                                  petek, that sounds really good. I've been thinking about making a vinaigrette with cider, but it didn't occur to me to make a reduction. Would love to have your recipe and also, your favorite salad ingredients to use it with, if you don't mind sharing. :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: MrsJonesey

                                                                                                    Ditto, I'd love to learn more about your method and sald preparation, petek.

                                                                                                    1. re: MrsJonesey

                                                                                                      <Would love to have your recipe and also, your favorite salad ingredients to use it with, if you don't mind sharing. :-)>

                                                                                                      Don't mind sharing at all.
                                                                                                      In a blender throw in cider reduction,s&p cider or champagne vinegar,chopped shallots or even better sweet vidalia onion,bit of honey start blending, slowly add a neutral oil(veg or grape seed) check seasoning(I like my vinaigrette a bit more acidic so...

                                                                                                      Goes great with arugula(or spinach),crisp apple slices,walnuts,Stilton and sun-dried pear.

                                                                                                      1. re: petek

                                                                                                        Thank you! That combo is right up my alley.

                                                                                                        1. re: petek

                                                                                                          Sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

                                                                                                    2. I use apple cider to sub for the rum in my fruitcakes. I use Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake recipe, and it's just delicious.

                                                                                                      1. Forgot to mention that I have made jello with Knox plain gelatin, 12 ounces of cider, an ounce of caramel sauce, and 3 oz cream. The color;s not so great but it tastes good.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                          greygarious, you remind me to pick up a little gelling attempt I tried a couple of years ago: Waldorf salad in gelled apple cider. I set apples, walnuts and celery in a cider gelatin; it was only *okay*, but it has potential. The biggest problem is that it lacked the tanginess I associated with Waldorf. Now I'm thinking I might add a bit of mayo to the works and see what happens...I hesitated the last time with the mayo specially because of the color problem. I seem to recall you also share a certain affection for gelatins...ever try a Waldorf?

                                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                            Love Waldorf salad. Haven't had it in FOREVER. Yum!

                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                              Go forth and experiment! I know I'm going to! The refreshment factor is big for me; Waldorf salad is refreshing, gelatins and aspics are refreshing, and apple cider is refreshing...I figure there's got to be some nexus there, right?

                                                                                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                Exactly! Do report back if you land on something magical--and I'll do the same! :)

                                                                                                            2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                              We had to make Waldorf salad in 7th grade home-ec class. Back then I would not eat mayo or anything with vinegar. So I never tasted it again, though now I adore sweet&sour. I think you could try either buttermilk or mayo, though if the latter you might want an additional splash of vinegar. I have no idea if acidic ingredients interfere with gelling at some point but would be cautious about that.

                                                                                                          2. Ina Garten has a great Apple cider vinaigrette for a butternut squash salad.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: blinknoodle

                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...
                                                                                                              blinkn, I'm going to link the recipe because I agree with you, it's a marvelous fall salad.

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                I agree ... it's a great salad!

                                                                                                            2. Making the caramels right now, though without a candy thermometer. Wish me luck!

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                Byrdy, rely on the printed tip:
                                                                                                                (If you don’t have a candy thermometer: Have a bowl of very cold water ready and cook the caramel until a tiny spoonful dropped into the water becomes firm, chewy, and able to be plied into a ball.)

                                                                                                                Good luck and enjoy!

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                  Hillj, thank you for this delicious recipe, and for success in my first -other than fudge - foray into candy. DH and I had a fun little assembly line going...I cut the caramels but the.lines.kept.melting.together...aargh...the finished product though tasty looks decidedly amateurish but hooo boy they taste some good! I spinkled some sel de mer on top of each piece...I think I'll make them next on a nice and chilly day. In my alwayschilly kitchen ;-)

                                                                                                                  So very tasty- thanks again!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                    Did you think you cut the caramels too early or was the candy still too soft?

                                                                                                                    My last batch late last night included some espresso coffee and a chocolate cocoa bean on top of each piece, no wrapping-just plated. Each time I've made the recipe the set up improves (because I am still quite new at candy making myself) with practice.

                                                                                                              2. Here's a simple recipe for Pork Chops with Apples and Onions that uses cider. I made it with some free-range Maine pork chops, and it was really delicious.

                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                  I have much better success preparing a pork loin (bone in or out) than I ever do chops. Thanks for the link. I adore apples & onions together. On skewers we make an apple/onion/porkloin cubed on the grill with a molasse glaze.

                                                                                                                  One of my versions is to cook down the cider infused with a broken cinnamon stick, a pierced vanilla bean, one star anise and rough cut white onion and slather that over the pork loin, foiled and roasted until done.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    That sounds like heaven...I just love fall flavors. A lovely loin came home with us from Maine as well, and I'll bookmark your recipe - thanks!

                                                                                                                2. Thanks, Hillj! I think I did ok - they are in the pan and cooling. I am cooling them on a rack on the counter, and was wondering if I could put them in the fridge to cool? (Its my first time trying to make candy :-) ) MUST GET A CANDY THERMOMETER!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                    I'd put them in to chill once they are warm not hot. You don't want to rush the sugars too fast.

                                                                                                                  2. Yum.. I love apple cider. I made apple cider "doughnut" muffins that use apple butter and cider. Also a really simple chicken recipe from BBC good food that basically just has onion, garlic, apples, apple cider, and chicken. I usually boil some little new potatoes with it and have them together..

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                      Do you have a recipe you would share for the muffins? I did a quick web search but didn't see one with apple butter in them. TY!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                        this may be it:
                                                                                                                        http://herviewfromhome.com/apple-cide...

                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                          Oh my dh would love muffins those in the morning!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                          It's an Eating Well recipe
                                                                                                                          http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/spi...
                                                                                                                          But I can assure you that it doesn't taste "healthy"!

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            Thank you so much. Healthy on top of delicious is a bonus!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                              Perfect now there are two versions re: muffins. One with a sugar-cinnamon topping & one with a streusel topping-my dh loves apple cider muffins, doughnuts, pancakes, french toast (egg & cider dip), crepes (cider glaze)....I'll be busy this weekend!

                                                                                                                      2. Not food related...but if you go through every idea here and still have some left-over...cider vinegar makes a great clarifying hair rinse.

                                                                                                                        You want to dilute it, and rinse with plenty of fresh cold water. It's great to use ~before~ coloring or adding any other chemical process to the hair (don't use it after!).

                                                                                                                        1. i use it to deglaze after pork chops and after quickly pan roasting country style ribs. i reduce by half, and mount with pats of butter. wonderful.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: charles_sills

                                                                                                                            Sounds scrumptious - will try this. Thanks!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                              no problem!!!

                                                                                                                          2. You are getting some good recipes and ideas for cocktails, but this tea-totaller loves hot mulled cider, no spirits needed. Someone on another thread told me that true apple cider cannot be "pasteurized." Well, whatever that apple stuff is, all spiced up in the crock pot for a few hours, with slices of orange, with cinnamon sticks poking throught them, just floating around... its delicious this time of year, right on through the Christmas/ Hanukkah/ New Year season.

                                                                                                                            May I recommend J Crow's Mulled Cider Mix- spices that are "just right" for mulling great cider? they are a company out of New Ipswich, New Hampshire. We have enjoyed their mix for years.
                                                                                                                            website: www.jcrows.com
                                                                                                                            On the other hand, the widely-available Aspen mix has a real artificial taste to me. I avoid Aspen at all costs.

                                                                                                                            1. Just pulled out a frozen gallon of last year's cider to thaw, since we are pressing again in two weeks.

                                                                                                                              Last year, we made boiled cider syrup and I'll make some again tomorrow. Reduce the cider slowly until it's thick and syrupy, a gallon down to a pint or so. Excellent in lots of places, but we love it best with bourbon. Oh, man.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                I do this any time I have more cider than I care to drink - it's such a useful thing to have in the kitchen. Great in mixed drinks, splashed into seltzer, salad dressings, sauces, soups - anywhere you might want a little sweetness and acidity.

                                                                                                                                1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                  About how long would it take to reduce a half gallon of cider to syrup, gw88? And how long would it keep? I have some cider syrup in my fridge, but it was store-bought. Would love to make some myself, it it keeps well. Is it freezable?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    Gosh, it took me an hour or so, maybe, to reduce a full gallon? Watch it closely as it gets close to being done, as it thickens up fast at the end. I think it'll keep indefinitely. You can absolutely freeze it, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't safely can it in a boiling water bath-it's high acid since it's just apple juice.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                      Great, thanks gw88!

                                                                                                                                2. I put a little bit in with my apples for pie. Also my dog gets a teaspoon a day, it helps with a condition she has of bladder stones. The vet recommended it after her surgery.

                                                                                                                                  1. I'm planning to make a gallon or two of LIquid Apple Pie AKA Apple Pie "Moonshine" or Apple Pie Boilo :-) It's made with cider, spices, and grain alcohol or high-proof rum or whiskey. Not considered classy in some circles but it is so tasty! LOL Also planning to make a huge batch of pumpkin butter which uses apple cider as the liquid.

                                                                                                                                    1. I like braising pork cheeks in a mix of stock and cider with some sweet potatoes, fresh ginger, shallots, garlic, celery and whatever else I might be inspired to add.

                                                                                                                                      1. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                                        Back on topic, I'm thinking a base cake like this could be easily enhanced by pouring the apple cider caramel over the cake instead of making chewy candies....stay tuned!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                          235 degrees F on the caramel sauce, eh? Is THAT the magic number--right in the middle of thread and soft ball? I am dying to know the right answer as o/w, caramels tend to come out too firm. I was going to try 220 next time, but I welcome your guidance. I also never heard of putting sour cream in caramel--interesting twist.

                                                                                                                                          And what, you don't wanna talk about those nasty chips anymore?! J/K! ;)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                            I so enjoy your laughter, katty-e! I'm gonna give this cake a go on Thurs, see what we can do with it.

                                                                                                                                            nasty chips......ha!

                                                                                                                                        2. http://www.werthers-original.us/#/B10000
                                                                                                                                          Speaking of caramel and apple, has anyone tried the fairly new Werther's caramels with a hit of apple? They're not half bad.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                            Yes! I had those when I was last in the States.. very sad they're not available here in Canada..

                                                                                                                                          2. Apple cider is a superb braising liquid when making a dried fruit compote, or a seasonal mixture of fresh and dried, like peeled/cored/sliced Bosc pears, a firm variety of apple, prunes, dried apricots, and raisins or craisins. I like to add honey and Tokaji Aszu or another sauternes-type dessert wine, and use golden raisins which I add at the end, off-heat, so they don't swell too much. Once upon a time, I had access to fresh quince, which was great in this type of compote.

                                                                                                                                            1. Not sure if this was mentioned upthread, but cider makes a wonderful cheap air freshener for your home. Heat the cider up on the stovetop with some whole allspice, some clove, and a cinnamon stick. Later add water as it slowly cooks down to keep the house smelling lovely all day.
                                                                                                                                              You can drink it too if you like.