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Homemade apple cider - cook the apples or not?

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I would like to make apple cider from scratch. Some of the recipes I have found call for boiling the apples first in some water, and then to place the cooked apples in a sieve with or without cheesecloth. Some recipes call for pureeing the apples, and then putting that into cheesecloth and squeezing the juices out. Which method is better? I will be serving the apple cider hot with mulled spices.

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  1. I had never heard of cooking apples for cider before this post. Thanks for enlightening me.
    When I was young "cider" came from a press in the apple orchard just outside of town. We watched them squeeze the apples into a tub and then fill the jugs. There was a screen to catch the stems and seeds, but that was about it. My father explained that this was not really cider, of course, just juice with "bits" (the solids from the apples), and I assume that is what you are making. It does need to sit a few days after pressing or pureeing to get that cider taste.

    As I got older I was allowed to drink real cider -- wonderful stuff. Then I got to try some scrumpy. It is stronger, but still very good.