Simple Apple Cider Recipe

To make this apple cider recipe pop with aroma and flavor, use several different varieties of apples. While there is no rule that says you need to mix the sweet taste of Fuji and Red or Golden Delicious with the tart taste of Granny Smith and McIntosh, doing so will produce cider that is deliciously different-slightly tangy and at the same time slightly sweet. Once you have about 40 of the apples you love, it's time to get started.

Apple Cider
Just for fun, let's make three gallons, all the same, but by combing three different types of apples-one red, one yellow and one green. Keep one gallon for dinner, pasteurize one and freeze the last gallon.

By combing the three apple varieties, our cider should have excellent flavor and an enticing aroma. If making a large amount of apple cider, it would be easier if you had an apple cider press, but, if you are making only a few gallons, you can use a food processor and squeeze the juice out through several layers of cheesecloth.

Pasteurizing
Due to possible bacteria contamination, babies, young children, the elderly and pregnant women should not drink apple cider that has not been processed. To pasteurize apple cider, heat it on the stove to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This should be sufficient to kill bacteria. Pasteurized apple cider can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Unpasteurized apple cider will last about five days, but exposure to the air will reduce its refrigerator life to about half.

Equipment You Will Need:
Food processor
Washed and sterilized plastic gallon jugs with lids
Cheesecloth
Stovetop (to pasteurize the cider)
Large kettle
Freezer

Use only apples that have been picked from the tree and not treated with chemicals. Do not use apples from the ground. Wash the apples, and peel and core them. (Reserve the peeling and cores to make apple cider vinegar with.) Slice the apples, and place the pieces into the food processor. Once you have pureed the apples, pour the mixture into two layers of cheesecloth that have been suspended over a large bowl. Squeeze the apples gently to get every bit of juice. Pour into jugs, snap a lid on and place the apple cider in the refrigerator. If freezing, freeze immediately, leaving enough headspace to allow for expansion.

Pasteurize the second gallon of apple cider immediately. If you want to flavor the cider, add cinnamon sticks to the container, or add rum to your glass.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Place the peelings and cores into a large glass container, cover with water and set in a warm dark place. Cover the top with several layers of cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band. As the cider ferments, it will thicken. When the cider has reached the potency you prefer, strain it with several layers of cheesecloth, and use. 

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