September 15, 2012

Homemade Apple Cider with Rum in Apple Cups


Oh, how I love the sweet aroma of cider while it simmers for hours in my home!  It has become a tradition for me to kick off autumn with some homemade apple cider.  This is such a fun and cute way to serve this beverage.  You can serve these with the cider still hot or chilled.  



Ingredients:
Yields 4 apple cups (1/2 c cider in each)
  • 8 large apples (I used McIntosh)
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves 
  • Optional:  A splash (or two) of rum per apple cup
Directions:

Make the apple cups.  Cut off the tops of 4 of the apples and set the tops aside.  Using the coning method, cut out the middle of each apple with a paring knife at a 45-degree angle, leaving about 1/4 inch of the rim intact and being sure to get all of the seeds.  Be careful not to cut through the bottom of the apples.  Use a spoon to scoop out as much of the remaining apples as you can throughout.  Again, leave about 1/4 inch of the apples intact throughout.  Set the scooped-out apple contents aside.  Coat the inside and outer rim of the apples with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.  Turn the apple cups upside down while you are making the cider.

Chop the remaining 4 apples.  Place the scooped/chopped apples (seeds, tops and all) into a large pot.  Add just enough water to cover the apples completely by about an inch.  Add the cinnamon sticks and stir in the brown sugar, nutmeg and cloves.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.  

Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon sticks.  Strain the apples through a fine mesh sieve.  Strain them a second time through a cheesecloth (or coffee filter).  

Pour 1/2 c of the cider into each apple cup.  Splash in a little rum in each apple cup, if desired.  Serve with a cinnamon stick in each cup.

Enjoy!


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