Friday, October 11, 2013

Mulled Apple Cider

I grew up in Winchester, Va. The home of everything apple on the Eastern side of the country. There is the huge Apple Blossom Festival in the late spring. White House Foods is based there. I grew up going to Richard's Fruit Market to buy local apples. I still remember their huge pot over the fire in the back where they were busy cooking down their delicious apple butter. My best memory was of buying fresh cider at Virginia Farm Market, where they always had free samples of the mulled cider.

Over the years since having moved from Winchester, I have tried countless recipes for mulled cider, wanting to find the perfect combination that brought back those fond childhood memories.

Mulled Apple Cider
Serves 2
(modified slightly from All Recpies.)

2 cups apple cider
1 tbsp. real maple syrup
1 whole cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice berries
1 dash nutmeg
2-3 strips each of lemon and orange peel

Wash lemon and orange thoroughly before removing peel. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove several strips of peeling from both the lemon and orange. Make sure not to remove any of the white pith from the fruit.

Put all ingredients into a glass or stainless steel saucepan. (Or you can wrap the spices and peelings into a piece of cheesecloth and add to the cider and syrup). Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer for 10-20 minutes. Strain out spices before serving. Serve hot and garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.

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