Tim and I – with some biological family and some chosen family – picked apples in Western Vermont this fall (just a bushel of Macouns, my favorite eating apple); then, when more chosen family visited, we picked 4 or 5 bushels of apples at Tim’s uncle’s orchard (Northern Spy, Wolf River, a few others). Finally, we picked several bushels from our own trees for cider – mostly Lodi and Haralson and another whose breed we have forgotten. Our friends took some home – mostly the Wolf River, which is a great baking apple, and so big that old Vermonters joke you only need one to make a pie.
The Lodi and Haralson we used for cider, but since they were picked after the frost, the cider was really sweet – too sweet for me, though I think it’d make great hard cider. (That’s one thing on my list of things to learn next year: hard cider making, by most accounts pretty darn easy.) Anyway, while I didn’t care much for the cider’s taste, it was fun to make.
We made another batch of cider a week later with the Northern Spy, an apple which, my brother-in-law says, needs a good frost to sweeten it. My taste-buds thought this batch turned out quite well!
Serve cold, or hot and mulled with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Accompany with homemade doughnuts.