Home Pressed Apple Cider

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WARNING: Both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the USDA have warnings out regarding unpasteurized fruit juices. Please read the following carefully and understand what you are doing before you take this recipe on. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/facts-faits/pamphlet_ufj-brochure_jfnp-eng.php

(Note: this was originally posted on my business site, Buster Rhino’s, hence the reference to bbq site) I realize many of you will wonder why this recipe or instructional piece is being supplied on a BBQ site. Well, I have posted it for two reasons, 1) it’s a family friendly recipe 2) I encourage you to try using the homemade apple cider in your BBQ recipe versus that store bought apple juice you have. It will make the apple juice taste like water for flavour.

So on with the show!

In early October 2010 someone posted a recipe on how to make apple cider, and, as I looked at it, I realised the recipe wasn’t for Apple Cider, but rather it was for mulled or spiced apple juice. Now of course this mulling apple juice will definitely work, it will absolutely not give you the same results that a great Mulled Apple Cider will give you. Once I started to ask around I quickly realized that many people didn’t realize what apple cider was.

Well let’s start from the beginning: when you pulp and crush an apple, the liquid that comes out is called of course juice – so if we were to say get into a semantic argument regarding the difference between apple juice and apple cider you would probably be right – but as far as common nomenclature and what we today in society know apple juice as you would be oh so wrong. Apple Juice is usually sold as a clear liquid with a very light caramel colour to it, there will be little or no particulate floating around in the liquid. It will be pasteurized and will of course taste like apples. Apple cider, on the other hand, can be anywhere from raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized juice right from the press all the way through to that point where people call it juice. If you get the pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized raw juice it will be heavy with particulate, will have a dark caramel colour from the interaction of the oxygen and the apple (apples turn brown when you bite them right). It’s a beautiful thing. Also depending on the selection of apples, you can have either a really tart cider, or really sweet cider. Another thing to understand: a common misconception is that apple cider has sugars, spices etc added to make it – that is called spiced or mulled cider which is the next step and has its own level of “wow!”.

HARDWARE NEEDED:
Scrub Brush, knife, cutting board, food processor, cheese cloth, strainer, large bowl.

INGREDIENTS:
9-10 Apples of varying types
For my recipe we used 4 Cortlands, 4 Empire, 1 Mutsu (Crispin)

MAKE IT:
As always the first and absolutely most important step is to sanitize every single piece of equipment you will be using.

Clean your apples well under running water, ensuring that all sediment and debris is removed. Cut your apples into rough chunks on your cutting board, don’t bother peeling them or coring just make sure to remove the seeds from the core which is done easily after spliting them, the rest will be filtered out through the initial pressing through the cheesecloth.

Put as many apples as you can into your food processor, and using the blade attachment on high speed, process your apples. You may not be able to get them all in, and it will can a while to do (I just keep adding as space became available). Once the apples are now at a stage where they look like apple sauce you are done.

Line your strainer with the cheese cloth folded no less than 6 times and place it over your bowl. One standard full size cheese cloth will fold about 10 – 12 times. The more folds, the more particulate is removed. Pour the apple mixture into the cheesecloth. Pull up all four corners of the cheesecloth, encasing the apple mixture inside, and twist the cheesecloth until you start to get juice, then twist some more. Then squeeze, then get your neighbour and their cat (just kidding about the cat) to help squeeze some more if you want.

Voila, Sweet Apple Cider is now in your bowl. From here you can filter it more if you so choose (e.g, through a coffee filter). You can also pasteurize your cider and can/bottle it if you like … or if you are like me, just drink it and make some mulled (spiced) hot apple cider ( also, for those who want a little kick, add a touch of whisky, bourbon or rum to it).

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