Homemade Apple Cider
How exciting is this? For a third day in a row we have a guest post from another amazing #NorthIowaBlogger. Today’s guest post is from my good friend, Katy Flint, from Learning as I Go.
Recently our family (husband, 14 year old step-son, 10 year old step-son, and myself) spent the afternoon – 5.5 hours to be exact – on my dad’s acreage doing a variety of activities. One of the great things we did was make homemade apple cider! What a great fall activity! How does one make homemade apple cider? It was all new to me and it turned out oh so good!!
My dad and step-mom had been given an old fashioned apple press by her uncle last year. This year, they decided to venture into the world of making homemade apple cider. From their research along with trial and error, they’ve discovered that you have to use a combination of red & green apples to get the perfect flavor. Red for the sweet and green for the tartness.
They have lots of green apples on their farm and got some reds from a friend. Then, they purchased an apple crusher from eBay. You place whole apples into the crusher, which breakers them up into very small pieces (crushed, if you will, which makes pressing the juice out easier). It’s actually quite interesting and the boys loved cranking the crusher. Typically, this was R’s (the 14yo) job as M (the 10yo old) would then run the press with my dad.
Once enough apples are crushed, they are ready for the press. It’s amazing to me that the juice starts to flow at the moment you pour the crushed apples into the press. Then, it’s just a matter of cranking the press while the cider pours out the spit at the bottom. The whole process smells amazing.
Once the apples are all pressed, we took them inside to strain out the small chunks. (We don’t have a wire strainer, so there are still some fine pieces in ours, but I’m okay with that, it’s pretty amazing the way it is.) Then, bottle it up! Of course, you can add sugar and spices, which my folks tried, but they admitted that it was better in its pure form! We agree!! The cider is good for about a week before it has to be frozen or dumped out as we don’t pasteurize it! I’ve drank several glasses cold and one hot! It’s yummy either way! It’s not as sweet or syrupy as the store bought cider and has a thicker consistency. My step-mom made some apple cider jelly with a batch and I have to say, that’s pretty tasty too!
Since this is a farm, we reuse as much as possible, which means the laying hens get a treat after we empty the apple press! Making cider isn’t near as hard as I thought it would be and tastes better than store bought stuff! . I guess that’s all part of Learning As I Go!
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