Monday, 9 September 2013

Easy Apple Cider

A lady across the track has let me harvest some of her crabapples (roughly 19 lbs). A friend of my dad's let me harvest 12 lbs of eating apples. A family at church dropped off two grocery bags of crabapples. The man who rents me his garden let me harvest 16 lbs of eating apples. Needless to say, we had a lot of apples.

I've already got apple pies coming out our ears, and with a new school job (yay!) I don't have much time anymore for putting up the harvest. So what to do? Cider, of course! Here is the recipe which was given to me by the first aforementioned lady:

12 qts water
12 qts apples or crabapples, cut in half
Bring to boil for 5 minutes. Add 2/3 cup Cream of Tartar. Cover with lid and let sit 24 hours. Strain and can (process in boiling water canner 10 minutes) or put into airtight food-grade containers (I washed out my juice and milk jugs and used them).

If you're going to freeze it, leave plenty of headspace for the juice to expand. Also, this will produce unsweetened apple juice. If you like a sweeter drink, add 4 cups sugar per 30 cups juice (or I just add a tablespoon per glass).

(for those of you who are curious about the difference between apple juice and apple cider - apple juice is simply put through more levels of straining to remove sediment).