AWESOME recipe! If you use whole spices and not ground ones, you should have no problem with the cheesecloth. My entire house smells delicious; this is a perfect thing to make on a fall day when you've got company coming!
this recipe would've gotten 5+ stars from me except the whole spices in the cheese cloth threw me off. After fighting with the cheese cloth and finally deciding that the cinnamon and allspice would just end up falling through the cloth anyway, i decided to just dump all the spices in. I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 dark brown sugar. added nutmeg and cloves. after dumping the mixture through a strainer i had to taste the result and it tasted wonderful. i gave my DH a small taste and he said it was thicker then he expected but i think that came from all the spices being added in. It is absolutely wonderful and i havent even strained the apples through cheesecloth yet. thanks for a great simple (besides the cheesecloth thing) recipe. I fell in love with apple cider all over again:)
Oops, tried this last year and forgot to review it. Actually I made two (3 gallon) batches, one with the spices (I put them in a tea ball instead of cheesecloth), and one without the spices. I used a mix of macintosh and delicious apples with a few winesap apples for extra flavor, since they are "sweet" apples I cut the sugar back to 1/3 cup and that was plenty sweet for us. I also substituted some store bought unsweetened apple juice I wanted to use up for the water. I did find the spiced batch to be a bit too spicy - slightly overpowering the apple flavor - I think next time I will cut back the amount of spices a bit (personal preference).
When I made the unspiced batch, I made it expressly for the purpose of "jacking" it (aka making apple jack which is a alcohol based brandy type of beverage). It made a very nice hard cider which was enjoyed by all. The left over hard cider was then "jacked" over the winter. The apple jack turned out well too. :-)
I ran my stick blender through the leftover apple solids to finely chop the skins (I had removed the seeds before cooking the apples) and added the solids to a pumpkin quick bread batter I was making.
I've been wanting to make my own cider for years now, but I never got around to researching recipes. A few days ago, my family and I visited a local farm to do some apple picking. I thought that if ever there were a time to make a nice batch of cider, this was it. This particular recipe seemed to be fairly simple so I thought I would give it a whirl.<br/><br/>THE GOOD: It's delicious. It really is. The apples are key here. Freshly picked golden and red delicious apples made for a naturally sweet and delicious beverage. Loved what the allspice brought to the table. Can't say enough about how tasty this turned out to be.<br/><br/>THE BAD: This was without a doubt the most tedious and time consuming recipe I have ever attempted. Appears simple, but wait until you get to the filtering! Three total hours of cooking and about two hours of squeezing apples though cheesecloth as well as double filtering through a fine strainer. And for what? Perhaps a tad more than a quarter of a gallon of cider. I started with ten apples and what must have been about three quarters of a gallon of filtered water. I'm not an idiot. I understand that a fair amount of the liquid will evaporate via the boiling process and of course there will be plenty of liquid that you just won't be able to squeeze out of those juice-logged apples. But I expected to get AT LEAST a half gallon of cider out of this recipe. Bare minimum.<br/><br/>A conservative estimate on this project would be around $18 ($8 for the ten apples, $4 for the 4 cinnamon sticks, $2 for the 3 tbsp allspice and $4 for the cheesecloth). That's $18 for around five hours of work and a quarter gallon of cider. I don't care how delicious this turned out. I can't justify giving more than two stars for a recipe that takes this long, costs this much and gives me this little in return. And quite frankly, two stars is very generous. Taste alone bumps it up one star. It is that good. Too bad it's not worth the effort.<br/><br/>I won't be attempting this method again.
I don't know if I did something wrong--but this was not at all like cider. Instead I ended up with essentially, flavored applesauce and a *really* thick chunky apple-cinnamon syrup. I mean, I can use both of these things--but neither of them are anything near cider.
If I made this again, I think I'd leave the sugar out (I only used 1/4 c.) and cut the spices in half. I think the sugar made it more syrup-like than cider-like. It tasted good, though. Most cider recipes don't call for cooking the apples - they just process them. I'd like to try it that way, too.
Made this last year and will definately be making again in the next few weeks. Took it to the Falloween Festival and shared with my large family and they all loved it. I used brown sugar for that caramel flavor and sweetened it to taste, and I just dumped the spices in since I don't have cheese cloth. I like how less sugar keeps the tartness which is the best part. Made the house smell fantastic and made me fall in love with cider all over again. My mom is asking for it again this year so she can keep some at home for the winter months. I will be too! Thanks.
WONDERFUL!!! I made this to use up a bunch of apples that were getting ready to get over ripe. My family loved it bot cold & hot. Thank you for sharing!!!
This was really good! I think I put in a little to much water. This was pretty easy and a great way to use up apples! I think I ended up with about 3/4 gallon cider.
Absolutely fabulous! I used Macintosh apples. I didn't have enough allspice, so I substituted in some ground cloves. This puts store-bought cider to shame. I will DEFINITELY be making this over and over. Thank you, Crazy Crafter!