The Rural Storey: Ciderhouse Cookbook
The authors at the apple chute.Photo credit: Mars Vilaubi
True confession. I have never, in my entire life, downed a beer. Like the smell, hate the taste. Hard cider, though — that’s another thing, introduced to me at some party I was covering for Rural Intelligence. It was a revelation, and has now become my favorite alcoholic (well, sort of) drink. That’s why I was drawn to Storey Publishing’s new title, "Ciderhouse Cookbook, 127 Recipes That Celebrate the Sweet, Tart, Tangy Flavors of Apple Cider." Written by Jonathan Carr and Nicole Blum, cidermakers and orchardists at Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley, Mass., it’s another spectacularly gorgeous book with loads of information on making your own cider and its many offshoots, and using all of them in your cooking. Plus, it couldn’t be more season appropriate. Here, a few excerpts.
It's amazing what the humble apple can yield: hard cider, sweet cider, cider vinegar, cider syrup, cider molasses, hard cider syrup, pommeau (a style of fortified, barrel-aged dessert wine), fruit shrub, fruit vinegar, switchel syrup.
Buying a fancy bottle of hard cider to cook with can feel like an extravagance, but fermenting your own gallon of cider (which you can typically purchase for $6 to $8) yields around five wine bottles’ worth of hard cider! Of course, if making your own cider and cider products isn’t in the cards right now, supporting local cider makers in your area is a great idea, as is sourcing from nearby orchards for your ingredients.
Campfire Roasted Apples
If you can roast something on a stick, then you ought to, especially while comfortably ensconced around an open fire. Whole apples cooked over the hot coals are not only fun to make but delicious when dipped in cinnamon sugar.
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1. Blend the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. Poke a nice long roasting stick though the core of a whole apple, from bottom to top.
3. Roast the apple a few inches above hot coals (rather than the open flame). Rotate and roast until the skin blisters and splits and the apple sizzles and whistles, about 10 minutes.
4. With the apple still on the stick, carefully peel away the burnt skin and roll the apple in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.
Excerpted from Ciderhouse Cookbook © Andrea Blum, Nicole Blum, and Jonathan Carr. Used with permission from Storey Publishing. Photos this page by Mars Vilaubi.
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