Fall is fast approaching. I’m excited as it is my very favorite time of year. Everything that comes along with the colorful season gets me jumping and smiling from ear to ear. Fires outdoors, autumn festivals, the food fare, and the fact that I get to start adorning myself with pieces of my giant scarf collection. I love cuddling up in a cozy sweater and reading a good book on the porch this time of year, but the moment isn’t complete without a good ol’ mug of apple cider- chilled or hot.
Living in Indiana I get to fall head over heels (pun intended) each year over the gorgeous changing foliage and the crisp cool air. I used to live in close proximity to a local apple orchard in Terre Haute, Indiana, called Ditzler’s Orchard. I live in the Indianapolis area now and no longer am I a hop and a skip away from the orchard store that holds the best apple cider EVER. I had to come up with an alternative because those grocery store ciders can’t compare to the gallons of goodness I picked up from Ditzler’s.
I have been experimenting to come up with an indulgent concoction that can hold up to the great cider I was used to in Terre Haute. With my new Vitamix blender I knew with some trial and error I could reach my cider making goals. I played around with spices, apple varieties, and wines to come up with something that truly curves my fall cider cravings.
This cider is a mulled version using whole granny smith apples, Cabernet Sauvignon, maple syrup, and honey. It’s vibrant in flavor and full bodied in texture. The Vitamix makes this incredibly smooth and leaves this piping hot. You can chill it as well for a cold cider.
I love topping my cider with a splash of vanilla coffee creamer, it makes this cider over the top delicious and my porch reading days are now complete. Alternatively you could top your cider with whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel. You could even add a shot of cinnamon whiskey for a pump of extra cinnamon and also turn this into a boozy treat for your next autumn party or get together.
- 5 Granny Smith Apples , cored and quartered (peeling is optional depending on desired consistency-the peels leave the cider thicker and more full bodied)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup clover honey
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange cut in half
- 6 whole cloves
- ¾ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- Place the quartered apples in your Vitamix container with the vanilla extract.
- Place the wine, maple syrup, honey, water, cinnamon sticks, orange, cloves, peppercorns, and ginger in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful to watch while simmering as to avoid the sugary mixture from boiling over. Basically don't leave it unattended unless you want a big mess.
- Once simmered for 15 minutes, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup. Discard solids (orange pieces and spices).
- Let cool 5 min.
- You need a liquid total of 5 cups, so measure the wine mixture and add water to compensate for the volume of liquid.
- Pour the 5 cups of liquid over the apples in the vitamin container.
- Turn on the Vitamix to variable 1 and slowly increase to variable 10. Blend for 5-10 min, until mixture is smooth and heated to desired temperature, preferably steaming.
- You can serve immediately, as is, with desired toppings, or chill in the refrigerator overnight for cold cider.
- Refrigerate an airtight pitcher or container for up to a week. Reheat later in microwave, on stovetop, or throw back in Vitamix to reheat.
I’ll be using the cider to create a collection of cider based recipes such as : Club Cider Float, Apple Cider Cream Pie, Apple Cider Caramel Sauce, and Apple Cider Waffles. Stay tuned for all these delicious treats. I’ll share the links to each recipe as they are developed and published here on Confectionalism.