Boiled Cider


Boiled cider is  a thick, syrupy, apple-scented secret ingredient that brings your favorite apple desserts from good to "how on earth did you make this?!"


1 gallon fresh cider  (A gallon of cider will reduce down to about 2 cups. Since the cider takes up to 6 hours, it is recommended to start with at least a gallon to make it worth your time.)


Select a large, sturdy pot designed for long-term stove-top cooking, such as a cast iron pot or Dutch oven. (If using 1 gallon of cider, use a pot that holds at least 5 quarts.)

Bring the cider to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-6 hours, giving a couple of quick stirs twice every hour. Starting around hour five, stir more frequently — every 15 minutes or so.

Note: The cook time will vary depending on your stove and which pot you choose. In testing, the boiled cider made in a metal pot took five hours; in a cast iron pot, six.

There are a few ways to test if it's done:

1. Bubble Color - It's done, when stirred, dark copper-colored bubbles form, covering the entire surface.

2. The Chopstick Test: The cider will boil down to about 1/8 of its original volume. The easiest way to track this is to place a skewer or chopstick into the cider before turning on the heat. Mark the height of the cider on the chopstick before you start boiling it. Repeat once every hour, marking the new height until it's about 1/8 the original height.

3. Consistency: Boiled cider has a similar viscosity to honey; when hot it behaves like hot, runny honey. Once cooled, it mimics thick, room-temperature honey.

 What about temperature? Just as water does, apple cider has a boiling point: 219°F. The temperature won't change once it begins to boil. Because of this, the temperature isn't a good indicator of doneness.

Be careful of overcooking boiled cider beyond that copper-bubble stage. It'll become too thick to easily pour or bake with. It also becomes unpleasantly bitter and sour.

Slightly over-cooked cider has the thick consistency of molasses. Sour, but still usable. VERY over-cooked cider  is firm and sticky like taffy. It's mouth-puckering and liable to rip out your fillings. 

To make your batch truly one of a kind, infuse your cider with other flavors. Simmering on the stove for several hours gives you the perfect opportunity to add a little something special. Cinnamon sticks, your favorite spice blend, a sliced vanilla bean, or orange peels will make your homemade boiled cider extra special. If you're going to add spices, we'd do so in the last hour of the process for the best flavor.

Run the finished cider through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any impurities, if desired. Store your finished homemade boiled cider in the refrigerator.

Boiled cider-fanatics say it will keep indefinitely in the fridge, but it will probably not be around long enough to test that theory.

If this seems like a present you might like to give to friends and family, include a note with a  few ways to use the boiled cider.

You can boil it hard for about 5 minutes at the beginning and it seems a lot of the impurities rise to the surface as a foamy scum, then just skim it off with a fine small wire sieve.

To avoid sticky steam on your walls, be sure to use the range hood fan.

Use a 50-50 mix of boiled cider with Dijon mustard as a glaze for pork tenderloin or on a spiral sliced ham.

via King Arthur Baking

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