What goes better with cold Fall mornings more than apple cider? Not much in my opinion. So a couple of days ago, I began the long process of making cider. Here's how I did it:
Cut up 8-12 apples in quarters and dump them into a large stock pot.
Cover with water and begin bringing the water up to a boil.
Drop in a Cider Beetle (or your favorite Fall spices) If not using a Cider Beetle make sure to add brown sugar to taste (1/4 c. to 1/2 c is plenty if your apples are sweet!)
Boil the apples covered for an hour and then simmer uncovered for even more. I simmered my cider over the course of two days, mashing and reducing the liquid until it tasted the way I wanted it to.
Strain the goo and liquid through a small sieve into another large pot or bowl, pressing the "sauce" through until there is no liquid left. Then re-strain the liquid into a jug or container you will keep in the refrigerator. This second straining takes out the remaining apple sauce and gives you a delicious clear apple cider to take to the pumpkin patch!
Fender loves making the snacks in his Hi Lights magazine and this round it was a good one! Homemade granola. We combined chopped hazelnuts, golden raisins, regular raisins, dried cranberries, oatmeal, maple syrup, and a little vegetable oil. Baked it at 300 degrees for 40 minutes and now we have a super simple, high-energy treat to keep us going while we hunt for the perfect pumpkins.
And if these aren't sweet enough for us, I made some caramels for our desert!