Monday, November 28, 2011

Apple Cider

Another apple recipe!  I think after this, I will have contained my apple stock.  I've never even considered making my own cider, so this should be exciting.

The most exciting part was when I started looking around at methods, I discovered you don't need to peel or core the apples!  Just quarter them up and toss in a pot - easy peasy!

The Store Brand: Harris Teeter Farmer's Market Apple Cider

My Recipe:

Ingredients:
8-10 apples (any color, any kind)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
12 cloves

Directions:

- Quarter all the apples and put them in a large pot.


- Add water until the apples are just covered.
- Add sugars and spices.


- Keep at a rolling boil for about an hour.


- Cover and cook at a low simmer for 2 hours.
- Mash up the apples with a potato masher.

- Let cool and put through a cheesecloth to strain out the solids.


And finally, mmmmm:


The final product looked just like apple cider!  The flavor was good - I think the spices were a little excessive.  Next time I would probably half the cinnamon and allspice.  Once it was chilled, it was really thick.  Probably could have added some more water to get a better consistency and tone down the spices.

Compared to the store brand, I had a hard time loving my homemade version.  The homemade batch did have a great flavor, but the thickness was definitely weirding me out.  I just like my drinks to be liquid.


What about the cost breakdown?  Most of the cost in the homemade was the apples ($4.95).  The homemade version cost almost twice as much as the store bought.  $5.50 for a half gallon of cider seems pretty steep for me.  Combine that with the 3 hours of simmering and phew, I'm not sure about this effort.

SizeCostCost/Oz
Harris Teeter Farmers Market Apple Cider64 fl oz $      3.49  $           0.05
Homemade64 fl oz $      5.53  $           0.09


Even though it was a great way to use up some expiring apples, I'd have to say:

Bake or Buy?  BUY!

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