A couple of weekends ago, Matt, Jill, Jarrod, and I put on fall festive flannels and boots, crammed into backseats and front seats, and drove 25 miles south of dear old Kirksville to West Orchards for some crisp, red fun.
When we arrived we realized we were there an hour and a half too late, but thanks to some bees that decided to swarm, the kind and jolly owner was still around. Fall's version of Santa gave us a quick tour of the various types of apples he grew and where to find them, took our $12, and let us loose upon his orchard.
Though overcast, it was the best weather. After picking Jonagolds, Honey Crisps, Red Delicious (not at all like the store-bought), and little red Libertys, we played a little baseball with the fallen fruit. We loaded up Matt's car with our harvest and drove north in the perfectly setting sun.
And now I have so many dang apples everywhere, on almost every surface of my kitchen. SO. MANY. APPLES. One pie later and I still had about 50 apples minus the 4 little guys it took to make that pie. I was doing my best to eat them raw, but the apple situation was getting to be a real problem. So I decided to make homemade cider. And this was a good decision. I used ten whole apples, which greatly relieved the apple tension around here. In addition, it was very tasty and a fun peach color.
Here's what I did to make about 6 cups of cider:
Homemade Apple Cider
10 apples, cored and quartered
three cinnamon sticks
water to cover apples
Put apples and cinnamon in a pot. You can definitely add brown sugar, but the apples I used were sweet enough on their own. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours. Strain with a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth if you have it. I didn't use a cheesecloth. I just let the apple settle after I used the fine mesh strainer and didn't mix up the cider before using it.
If you want to be just like me when you grow up, you'll make a hot toddy with your homemade cider by adding some bourbon and perhaps a little St. Germain.
Unfortunately I now have a ton of weirdly colored applesauce leftover from cider-making that I don't know what to do with! Give me all your apple recipes, please!