Homemade Apple Cider You can buy all the store-bought cider you want and it will never come close to the quality you get by making your own. Not only is it surprisingly easy (throw everything in a pot, let it simmer for a few hours, and strain), but the fresh apples,vanilla,orange and spices compliment each other perfectly.
Making homemade APPLE cider is the perfect activity for Halloween and a delicious drink for those chilly fall evenings.
Makes about 6 cups
6 medium organic APPLES (any kind)
6 cups of spring water
1/3 raw honey
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 fresh vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp extract)
1 whole star anise
2 orange peel slices
Coconut whipped Cream (recipe below)
Wash and cut the APPLES into quarters. Add them to a large pot with about 6-7 cups of water and start heating. Meanwhile, throw in a cinnamon stick or 2, half a vanilla bean (or some extract), 2 slices of orange peel (about 1 inch square), and raw honey.
Most cider recipes call for way too much sugar. Apples are naturally sweet, and I hate sugar, so I only used about 1/3 cup of raw honey.
Leave the pot uncovered and bring to a boil. Allow to boil vigorously for about 30 minutes. Then, cover and let the cider simmer on lower heat for about 2 more hours. This would be a good time to make some healthy coconut whipped cream for the top.
After about 2 1/2 hours of cooking, REMOVE from the heat and allow to thoroughly cool. Then add the apples to a blender and mix well.
Pour the cider through a strainer to REMOVE all the apple pulp. You can either use any kitchen strainer and a wooden spoon to strain the liquid, or (recommended) you can filter through a cheesecloth.
Serve warm, either by itself or with some coconut whipped cream. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Coconut Whipped Cream
Coconut whipped cream is a must-have recipe for any organic homemade dessert or hot drink. One of the great things about coconut whipped cream is that it is not coconut flavored. The final product only has a very faint coconut taste that most people won’t even notice.
To make this recipe, you will need a can of full-fat coconut milk – “light” coconut milk won’t work for this recipe. Some brands work better than others and I have had the best results with Thai Kitchen.
The science behind this whipped cream is incredibly simple. In every can of coconut milk, you have coconut water and coconut fat. If you shake and open the can, the two will be mixed together into a creamy liquid, but if you let the can sit overnight in the refrigerator, the fat rises to the top and solidifies while the water sinks to the bottom.
To make the whipped cream, you want to chill a sealed can in the refrigerator overnight. After at least 8 hours, carefully remove the lid and you should have a solid white block of coconut fat along the top of the can. Scrape this into a cold bowl, taking care to leave the runnier parts behind. You can discard the water or save it for smoothies, etc..
Next, with a small whisk or hand mixer (recommended), beat the coconut milk into a firm whipped cream. It will start out fairly runny and become thicker over 3-5 minutes. When the consistency is right, add in a little sweetener, such as organic cane sugar. Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup may work, but they will make your final product more runny. Beat again until the sweetener is combined, then add in one of the following flavorings.
For the Vanilla
To make a vanilla whipped cream, simply add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.
For the Chocolate
The chocolate whipped cream is my favorite. To make this variety, take about 2 squares of Green & Black's 70% dark chocolate bar and melt down. Then, slowly drizzle them into the whipped cream while mixing. The heat from the chocolate might make the whipped cream become more runny, but it should firm up again when chilled.
For the Strawberry
Heat 2-3 medium strawberries until they become very soft. Break them up into small chunks and add to the whipped cream. Beat thoroughly until the strawberries are COMPLETELY incorporated. The whipped cream will become a gorgeous pink color, but it will turn grey after several hours so this one is best to make right before using.
No matter which variety you choose, the whipped cream can be used immediately or kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!