Apple Cider appeal
If I were a normal person, I would buy apples, wash them and enjoy digging my teeth into their crisp juiciness. But I confess I am not quite as normal as that! When I see any fruit or vegetable, my mind goes into overdrive, wondering what more can be done with it while it is in abundance.
Apple cider is one such heavenly drink that can be made easily at home when there is a glut of this fragrant fruit in the market. Homemade tastes heavenly and is really simple to process. It’s great served cold. It’s a comfort drink when served warm, and perfect to chase away the Monday blues! Spiced Apple Cider Ingredients
- 6-8 medium-sized red apples
- 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 2 flowers of star anise (called chakri or anaas phool)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 1 cup sugar (start with less if you want less sweet cider)
- Chop apples and oranges into eight slices each. Do not peel.
- Use a deep, heavy pan and put in the fruit, cloves, star anise, ginger and most of the sugar.
- Add enough water to cover the fruit, put on a lid; then set up the vessel on high heat.
- Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for 7-9 hours, or even 10.
- Check for sweetness and add more sugar if you desire. Boil once again if you have added sugar at this point.
- Strain the cider and discard the fruit-pulp. If you want a clearer-looking cider, then strain once again through a fine-meshed cheesecloth.
- Transfer to a pretty glass jug, and serve hot or cold, garnished with a cinnamon stick and a sprig of fresh mint.
Note: Brown sugar results in a prettier, amber-coloured cider. The cider will keep well if refrigerated for up to a week. A dash of rum added to hot cider makes a superb adult drink. (Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)