But I am not writing to advertise Secco, but more to record my making of Apple Cider! That's right, what screams fall more than a nice glass of local Apple Cider!
On a cool, Monday morning I ventured up the treacherous what-seemed-to-be 80* hillside that leads you to Charlottesville's Carter Mountain Orchards! There, millions flock yearly for the pick-your-own apples, and, oh yea, Apple Donuts. (They also have grape vines?!) At the orchards, I picked close to 10 pounds of apples, all being Fuji's. Following the pickin', having gotten wind of a special deal known only to those in the know, I asked the registers for apples known as Dear? Apples, or Apples that one necessarily wouldn't want to eat due to indentations or other defects, but perfect for a low budget cider. The pick'em yourself apples are 1.19 a pound, and the 2nd's were 75 cents? I think I left the mountain with between 20-30 pounds, or about a bushel.
Now, conventional Apple Cider makers would use a mill to juice the apples, but being a cook, I chose to use my trusted Cuisinart Food Processor, and then push the juice out using cheesecloth. A little slow, but it did the job!
The Yield from the apples was almost exactly a gallon, and wanting a bigger production, I purchased two gallons of cider. (Note: these must be preservative FREE, or else it will affect the fermentation process/yeasts)
This has been an incredible learning experience and exciting process for me to induce, amazing thinking I have been a part since the apples left the tree!
I hope you found this entry as intriguing as I had dreamt, albeit my writing is rusty and it is late! I hope to write more often, thanks for reading!
PS: Apple Butter is truly delicious, and so simple. Google a recipe and make a batch from some apples this fall, you won't regret it!