You know that powder mix in the stores, the Spiced Apple Cider drink mix? Yeah this isn’t it. This is real apples cooked in your own kitchen scenting your home to the best of it’s ability. My house is a 1935 farmhouse full of boys(!), believe me you want something bubbling on the stoves to make it smell inviting. And that powdered cider mix, don’t throw it out if you happen to have it because it makes the worlds best cookies.

 You’ll need some good apples, a couple different varieties will make a delicious juice with many different flavors mixing together. Think of it the same way as making a pie, you never use all the same apples there either. Get organic if you can so you can cook down the whole thing and leave the peels on, more flavor! My first batch I made with crab apples from my yard. It was delicious so if you happen to have some free apples knocking around well try them out. They don’t even need to be pretty just not rotten.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider
3-4 pounds apples
water to cover+more because the juice will be too thick
cheese cloth for draining
sugar or honey to taste
1 long or two short cinnamon sticks
1 star of anise seed pod if you like the flavor
1/2 a lemon, sliced
2-3 whole cloves

wash the apples and roughly chop leave the core and peels and such
cover with water and bring to a quick boil
reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so, adding water if it gets too thick
wet the cheese cloth and fold over to make a square several layers thick
place it over a large bowl
pour the apples sludge in and tie up the corners
lay a cooling rack over the top of the bowl and place cheese cloth full of apples on top
let drain for 4-6 hours

taste the juice, it should be thick and tart
add water until it is drinking consistency
put in a large lovely pan, you’ll be serving out of it
add sugar or honey if it needs it and all the spices
warm gently until ready to serve add water to keep it the right consistency
I’ve kept this warm on the stove for several hours before serving it

Now the mush of the apples that’s leftover can be fed to chickens, the worm bin or straight up composted. I suppose if you made this with cored apples you could use the mush for a cake or something? My chickens like it so that’s where it goes in our house, spoiled birds, but they do pay me back with eggs and compost so it’s pretty even right?

Peace and Love–