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Cooking with Apple Cider
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Cooking with Apple Cider Reply with quote

Freshly squeezed apple cider is one of the things I miss most this time of year. Nothin' in LA like the wonderful, rich stuff that I remember from the Hudson Valley.

I ran across this site this morning. http://www.epicurious.com/cooking/menus/cooknow/cider Maybe some of you can pick up some cider at the local farm stand and try some of these things out.

Have a cold glass for me while you're at it. Wink
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love cider for cooking, baking, sipping and drinking. We have several farms close by that produce a superior product, Briermier Farm being my favorite.
My mulling spice blend is;
cloves
cinnamon
cardamom
star anise
candied ginger

I love the flavor of the anise in the cider, it blends very well.
A good friend has been teaching us how to make beer recently, next week we will start on the hard cider. He is a legend in the neighborhood for his cider. I have to limit myself to one as they are quite potent, last year I got a tad surly after two.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I'm not so fond of the taste of alcohol but a week or two ago in a Mexican restaurant I had a hard pear cider. It was wonderful. The flavor was like a light, fruity beer without the carbonation.
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Monica



Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 90
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yum, some good ideas there. I'll have to try star anise in warmed cider, too. I hate buying mulling spices when I have the ingredients in my cabinet. Hard cider can be enjoyable, but it's true you can't drink too many of them!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monica- I utterly agree. Besides, it's just a delight to whip out things like cinnamon sticks, rose hips, allspice berries, dried orange peels, whole nutmegs, etc. and smash them up to make your own. The fragrance when you do is so sensational it's heady all by itself.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the apple cider cake from the link you gave Rainey. I thought it was a bit too dense but I am the only one that felt that way. Some guys were here today remodeling my upstairs bathroom and they scarfed it down. It was like they had never been fed before.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooo. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more. But sounds like they must think your house is the very best one to be working in. Wink
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess dense isn't the right word, spongey is more accurate.
I have found that people with fix-it or fix-up jobs tend to be treated poorly by many. My husband is a tech for the Coast Guard, when people call up demanding things or treat him or his guys poorly they go to the bottom of the list. When people bother to get to know them and treat them like human beings they always go out of their way to help that person.
Today the guys get cayenne/dark chocolate chunk cupcakes. I tried one, so freaking good!
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Monica



Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 90
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You gonna tell them they're cayenne BEFORE they take a bite? Wink

It's nice that you are treating them well - always a good call. Good show of respect.
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FoodSciGeek



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 143
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin,

Can you share a recipe for the cupcakes? I love sweet/heat combinations.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Cooking with Apple Cider Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
Freshly squeezed apple cider is one of the things I miss most this time of year. Nothin' in LA like the wonderful, rich stuff that I remember from the Hudson Valley.


I know what you mean about apple cider being regional. Nothing here in Alabama can compare to the autumns I remember in Ohio. On Sundays aftter the football game (Cleveland Browns) we'd go out to the country and bring home apples and cider and then stop and get a dozen Snow-White donunts.

Glazed donuts and apple cider. Smile
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Monica



Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 90
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to Whole Foods at lunch today and got some yummy stuff. Squash to finally use some of your recommendations from the Pumpkin thread. And a friend recommended Honeycrisp apples from Michigan.... am about to bite into it.... Verdict: good texture, juicy, not overly sweet or tart. I'd buy them again, but wouldn't go out of my way...
Oh, and DBF's favorite recipe lately is from Clotilde's post about Tarte Tatin with the caramelized apple! Made it twice this month. Very Happy
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I don't understand is why you don't have good unfiltered apple cider in California when Washington state is so close. Doesn't Whole Foods distribute it nationally? Or is it simply that there's not great demand on the West coast or in the South?

For those with a good supply, I recommend going to Epicurious.com to see if you can find a recipe for pumpkin cider bread that calls for reduced cider. I am not sure the recipe originally in Gourmet is online, but if it is, it's great.

I also like adding cider to carrot fennel soup and use cider instead of water when making applesauce.

Now, as to the traditional combination of apple cider and doughnuts, ahhh! I would like to know if anyone out there has a good recipe for cake doughnuts that are made with apples...or I suppose applesauce. I recall some wonderful spicey ones that were dense and moist, but don't know where to look for a recipe.
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rebecca



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 77
Location: near a pan of spanakopita

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Four weeks ago I attended a harvest festival at a local historic homestead near my town, and the organizers used the tart heirloom apples in the old orchard to make freshly pressed cider. They used an antique cider press, and had all the children attending the event help make cider for everyone. The kids loved it, the guests loved it--and the cider was so yummy fresh out of the apple press!

I've found that a cup or two of apple cider used in place of an equal amount of chicken stock in a good winter squash (such as butternut) soup brings a wonderful tanginess to the rich soup.
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Monica



Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 90
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deste, I got this from a Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8595-2004Oct5.html and it sounds like the ones I've had, except I've not had them with glaze. Had one for breakfast this morning, defrosted in the microwave. So good! Bought them a the Apple Haus in the Chicago suburbs that makes lots of apple treats.

APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS

For the doughnuts:
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat work fine)

Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider

For the doughnuts: In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)

Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels.

For the glaze: While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

To fry and assemble: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze and serve immediately.
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