We all love sipping on delicious apple cider! But did you know you can cook with it too? Apple cider adds great apple flavor to favorites from dessert sauces, to crumbles, to soups and more! Check out the recipes below for inspiration and start cooking with cider today!
Reducing and spicing apple cider makes a delicious sauce that is good on pancakes or waffles, mixed with seltzer for a soda, or topping ice cream.
Place 4 cups apple cider in a sauce pan with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of ground cloves, and a dash of Maine sea salt. Bring to boil over high heat, whisking every few minutes. Boil down to about 1 cup. If you like a thicker sauce, once you have reached 1 cup of liquid, blend 2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch with 2 tsp cold water into a paste. Add to reduced liquid and simmer for 1 more minute, until the sauce is again clear. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Apple Crumble
Oil slow cooker insert. Wash, peel (if desired), core, and thinly slice about 2 lbs of apples- you are looking for about 6 cups of apple slices. Toss the apple slices with 1/2 tsp group cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Place in slow cooker insert. Pour 1 cup apple cider over the apple slices. In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (or for gluten-free use 1 cup quinoa flakes + 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts), 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or for gluten-free blend 1/4 cup brown rice flour + 1/4 cup sorghum flour), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 cup safflower oil or melted butter. Spread this topping over the apple slices. Cover and turn slow cooker on low. Cook about 4 hours, until crumble is bubbly. Enjoy!
Peel, seed, and cut 2 medium butternut, acorn, or other moderately sized winter squashes into 1" pieces. Peel, core, and chop 2 medium apples. Slice 2 medium onions into crescent shapes. Heat 1 TB olive oil in stock pot. Add the sliced onion and sauté until soft and starting to turn golden. Once onions are golden, add squash, apples, and 5 cups vegetable broth, 1 TB rubbed sage, and 1 tsp salt (or to taste). Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking 20-30 minutes, until squash pieces are soft. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, reduce 1 pint of apple cider by boiling until 1/2-3/4 cup liquid remains. Puree the squash-apple mixture. Stir in reduced cider. Adjust salt, pepper, and sage to taste. Sprinkle each serving with a dash of paprika. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 9x13" baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups hot apple cider, 1 cup unsulphured sweet molasses (not blackstrap), 1 cup pure maple syrup, 2/3 cup homemade applesauce, ½ cup melted dairy or soy butter or safflower oil, 3 TB ground flaxseed, and 1/3 cup water. In a medium bowl, whisk together 4½ cups whole wheat flour (or for gluten-free use 4 cups whole grain gluten free baking flour blend plus ½ cup amaranth flour plus ¾ tsp. xanthan gum), 3 tsp. baking soda, 2½ tsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cloves, and ¾ tsp. salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well to combine. Fold in 1/3 cup crystallized ginger diced into pieces about the size of a green shelling pea. Pour into pan and even out batter across pan. Sprinkle an additional 3 TB of pea-sized diced crystallized ginger over the top of the cake. Bake about 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted and removed comes out clean. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Cider Glazed Squash- Savory or Sweet
Preheat oven to 450 deg F. Slice a large winter squash of your choice in half. Scoop the seeds out. Slice the squash into 1/4-1/3" crescent shaped pieces. Place squash pieces flat on a baking dish. We recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as the cider sauce can be sticky. In a small sauce pan, reduce 1 cup of apple cider by boiling until 1/2 cup of liquid remains. For savory flavors- add 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of dried rubbed sage to the liquid. For sweet flavors add a pinch of cloves, a pinch of black pepper, and a dash of cinnamon to the liquid. Brush the reduced cider sauce on to the flesh of the squash. Bake until squash is fork tender, about 15-25 minutes. Enjoy!
Winter Fruit Compote
Fruit compotes are an old-fashioned winter favorite. Cooking fresh and dried fruit intensifies flavors and utilizes what is easily stored over the winter. Fruit compote may be enjoyed on its own at breakfast, snack, or dessert, layered with yogurt and granola in a parfait, or with pancakes or waffles, as a side to a savory meal, or with ice cream or whipped cream.
Core and coarsely chop 4 apples and/or pears. Place in a medium-large saucepan with 1 cup apple cider, 1 TB orange zest, ½ cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, and currents are all excellent choices), ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, and, if desired, ¼ cup maple syrup. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fresh fruit is softened (but not sauce) and dried fruit is plumped, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!