Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Homemade Apple Cider

It's that time in Michigan when the leaves are turning color and my thoughts turn to apple cider and donuts.  But until last year it never entered my mind to make my own.  

When we bought our place out in the country there were four apple trees.  Over the years I've made apple pie filling and applesauce to store in the freezer to have through the winter.  Two of the trees eventually died but we discovered two more had grown where their seed was dropped so we have those two out in the field.

But I had gotten to that point where I didn't want to store up on apple pie filling and applesauce.  And yet, I hated to see the apples go to waste. This year my two older trees were nice and green however no apples.  The two out back had just a few.  I breathed a quiet sigh of relief that this year, at least, I didn't have to do anything.  Enter my friend.

"Our trees are loaded.  You've got to come over and get some apples."
"We've taken what we want.  Do you know how much applesauce I have made?  The neighbors have been here, the kids . . . get over here!  The branches are still weighed down."

Mumble, mumble.

I brought a bag home and looked at my husband.  "Should we try our hand at cider?  We talked about doing it last year, remember?"
"Too expensive."
"Actually no.  I found a press for around $60."  We discussed it.  I researched it further.  From the reviews the press worked well however, there was a lot of cleaning involved.  Not a fan.

And then I opened a magazine.  How to Make Cider Without a Press.  I read through.  It sounded easy.  Actually my biggest problem was finding cheese cloth.  Every place I went was sold out.  Eventually I found it and we were in business.

 The two of us worked for an hour and fifteen minutes and then we were done.

 I wrapped up the cloth tightly and laid a dutch oven on top.  My husband filled a water jug full of water and set that inside.  Now it's got some weight on it.  Leave for 4 hours or over night.

I got the jars ready!

And then the next morning:

Hmm.  Okay.  So you get a lot more with pie filling and applesauce, but . . . this was delicious.  

My husband thought that for getting 26 apples ready there should be more.  He tried his hand at squeezing.

                                                             Okay, doubled our profit!

We don't know why it's a different color but it's also delicious, even though it's a slightly different taste.  He thinks it's sweeter, I think it's less apple tasting.  

Went back to my friend's house and got two more bags.