Crisp, Delicious Apple Cider

Fall… is my favorite, in case you missed that ;). Crisp cool air, crunching leaves, hot drinks, sweaters, boots, harvest, and Apple Cider!

We picked apples last week at a neighbors orchard. It was a great couple of hours of family time that will lead to more of that in a few weeks when we combine those lovely Golden Delicious Apples with some Jonagolds, and Honeycrisps to make the ultimate Apple Juice!

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Which led me to the question of what is the difference between juice and cider? Do you know? Not hard cider, just cider. I learned that cider is actually what we make. We use a cider press and immediately bag that liquid gold and freeze it. To make juice, it must go through a filtration process.

I wanted to share this with you BEFORE you might need the information so that you can use it as we march deeper into APPLE season, at least in our corner of the world.

The rest of the photos are from a few years ago. The process is the same. The fun is just as much. And the CIDER is just as YUMMY!

We pick an evening when we can get together. Grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, and our family and we set up lights and press the apples around dusk. Then we don’t have to defend ourselves or our apples against bees and wasps. This is usually in October, so we begin around 6:30-7. Not too late. And we set up an assembly line. Some cut out bad spots, others put them in the press, others run the press, move the juice so we can pour into labeled freezer bags and then place in the freezer!

The Apples that provide the liquid gold! Honeycrisp (left), Golden Delicious (right), and Jonagold not pictured.

The first year my husband and I made cider was with a Norwalk Juicer. Those are beasts! Oh my gosh. And very labor intensive, but the juice you get is so nutritious, so healing, that it is worth it. After that experience though, I wasn’t going to do another 40 gallons with the Norwalk. It took too long, and I ached from standing in the kitchen for so many hours. So, we borrowed a cider press! And a couple years later we bought one.

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You place apples in the hopper, whole ones are just fine as long as there aren’t any bad spots (big time saver over the Norwalk), turn the wheel (children really enjoy this) where it turns them into pulp and drops them into a mesh lined container with big holes.

Once the mesh bag is 2/3+ full, we fold it over itself and then run the press. This squeezes the juice from the pulp and we catch it in a pot.

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Then we pour the pot into a GOT jug or something else with a nice spout to easily fill our freezer bags. Label them first! It’s not easy to write on a liquid surface.

We freeze in quarts. You could do gallons… but, that’s a lot of juice. And, when it comes to thawing, you want a bowl that a rectangular bag can set it while it thaws. Quarts work well.

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Here’s a short video of the WHOLE process made by my amazing husband.

Thank you for being here! Be well, and Be Blessed.

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