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In the middle of the day, I decided it was time to make some cider. This is my first attempt at homemade cider. Primarily, I’m making it for Hun. Although I like hot apple cider, I don’t particularly have any feelings about it otherwise. So, here’s what I did (and probably where I screwed up a bit).
1. Cut some apples. I used 4 apples for this batch of cider. No need to worry about peeling and all that, I just sliced them in 1/8ths. All of the apples came from our 1st apple orchard trip at Byler’s Farm, PA.
2. Add some orange zest. Just grab a grater and scrape that orange across a bit. I didn’t zest the entire orange, just about half of the peel.
3. Cut oranges. Yes, plural. I used two (which is probably where I messed up). One likely would have been quite alright, the second (I think) gave the cider a bit of a punch in the back.
4. Throw the apples and orange in a big pot of water. I used filtered water and filled the pot to almost full.
5. Don’t forget some spices for that extra flavoring. Since I didn’t have cinnamon sticks on hand, I just used ground cinnamon (which works fine). If you want, throw some clove in there, too. Don’t forget the sugar! I put about a half cup in at this point.
6. Bring the pre-cider to a boil for about an hour or so, no lid needed. I stirred the cider a few times during the boiling period, but I’m thinking this isn’t really necessary. I simply wanted to ensure all the flavors were mixing together well.
7. Now simmer the almost-cider. Do this for another 2 or so hours. Honestly, I didn’t look at the clock too much. I generalized my times, knowing that essentially I’m extended boiling some water. I also kept stirring. You can start to mash up the fruit, as it should be soft now. Also, throw in more sugar if you want. I used another half-cup or so and a touch of cinnamon.
8. Remove from stove and strain into a container. I did this as well, making a horrendous mess in the process. Either way, here’s my cider!!
Hun’s initial quote upon my presentation of the cider, “Oh, it’s good. Did you put lemon in it?” To which, of course, I said I used orange. A few minutes later Hun said, “I like the beginning, just not the end.”
So, although not an epic fail, not a total win either. Next time, I’ll only use one orange, or I might forgo it and see how it turns out.
*By the way, I didn’t completely come up with this on my own. GimmeSomeOven helped me know about the cooking times (and orange that I went overboard with).