This is one of the easiest, tastiest fall recipes in our yearly traditions. All you need are lots of apples, some kitchen knives, a press, and some half gallon canning jars. We don't add any preservatives or additives to our cider, just pressed apples! If you really want to make homemade cider but don't happen to own your own press (because your husband isn't preserving and pressing his own wine in your garage) you can usually rent them for the day at your local equipment rental store.
Step 1: Gather lots of apples. We have tried a few different varieties but really like to do a mixture of different types of apples. If you go to your local orchard, they can usually tell you which apples will make the best cider or juice. Also, if you are going to be buying quite a few apples, ask your local orchard if they have any seconds or bruised apples that they will sell to you for a better price. We purchased about 100lbs of apples, and were able to get the bruised ones for 50% off. Honestly, most of them didn't even have a bruise on them, and even if they did, that won't affect the cider.
Step 2: Make sure to wash all of your apple well. You don't have to peel the skin off before you press them, so make sure to wash them first.
Step 3: As we found last year, it doesn't just work well to put the apples in the press in quarters. We tried that and got maybe a cup of juice! So what we have found works well is to cut the apples in quarters, and then run them through the food processor with the slicing blade. This shaves the apples in small pieces and allows more juice to be pressed.
Step 4: Fill your press with all of your apple shavings and press! We usually press the apples down as far as they can go and then release the press, fluff the apples again, add a few more shavings and repress. This will allow you to get as much cider as possible.
We usually push down the apple shavings a few times to try to get as many apples in the press and as much juice as possible.
We each took turns cause it gets pretty hard towards the end!
Step 5: Once you have gotten as much juice out as you can and you have several containers full you can either seal the jars and freeze them, send some to me, or enjoy yourself! Honestly, it's a really fun and easy fall tradition with super yummy rewards!
We collect our cider in a small bucket and then transfer it into jars. In order to keep too much pulp from getting in the cider, we put a strainer over the bucket to catch the extra drippings.
I hope you enjoy this cider as much as we do. It honestly tastes amazing and like any cider you find at your local apple market. There's just something about consuming food that you made that makes things taste that much better! You can also add some spiced rum, or some carmel vodka to your cider and heat it on the stove for a tasty hot spiced cider! So hurry out to your local apple market and get your cider apples before they are all gone for the season!