A few weeks ago, I went apple picking. I had never been before, and I ended up getting an entire half-bushel to myself.
Lots and lots of apples.
First thing, I made a whole bunch of apple sauce. A few weeks later, though, I still had a bunch of apples that were starting to get a little mushy. Determined to not let these babies go to waste, I decided to make some cider.
I love cider. A lot. When we were out at Indian Ladder Farms, they had an entire cider room:
I’ve never made homemade cider before. And lucky for you, there is no photographic evidence of this. Oh well!
Essentially, all you need to do is put your apples through a juice extractor. I wish mine was as fancy as the gigantic cider press at Indian Ladder Farms. Mine isn’t. But that’s okay! If you have a juice extractor, you can do this too.
You’ll notice that some pulp and foam will sort of congeal at the top of your apple juice. Keep on extracting your juice until you have the amount you’d like (or you run out of apples). Each pound of apples will yield about 8 ounces of juice. Today, I extracted juice from about 5 pounds of apples—a mixture of Golden Delicious, Empire, and Macintosh. I got about 4.5 cups of juice.
Once you have the amount of juice you’d like, use a fine strainer to twice-strain the juice into a pot. Since you can’t really pasteurize your apple juice, I decided to warm it up. I let the juice simmer for about 15 minutes, with a few whole sticks of cinnamon and some halved clementine oranges. Let the now-cider cool and then strain it into a pitcher for storage. And that’s it. This sort of cider is sweet on its own, and you do not need to add any extra sugar.
You can, however, add some whiskey, if you’re feeling frisky.