To make boiled cider, you don’t need much more than a heavy stockpot, a wooden spoon and a few hours. If you can find small-batch cider pressed from Winesap apples, use it. Otherwise, look for a cider with relatively high acidity, which will yield the best balance of flavor when it's reduced.
The syrupy result can be drizzled over pancakes or corn bread, used to sweeten mashed sweet potatoes and used as a glaze for winter squash or carrots. Its sweet-tart effect also works well in vinaigrettes and as a component in barbecue sauce. And it is never out of place paired with ice cream.
This recipe can be cut in half. Kept in sterilized jars, boiled cider can be refrigerated indefinitely. A tip: To properly gauge what 2 1/2 cups looks like in the pot, pour in that much uncooked cider first, then add the remainder of the gallon and get cooking.
Servings: 2.5 cups
- 1 gallon fresh, preservative-free apple cider
Pour the cider into a large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook uncovered for 4 to 5 hours or until it has reduced to a little more than 2 cups, stirring more frequently as needed in the last 30 minutes to keep the cider from scorching. The boiled cider is done when it coats the back of a spoon, with a consistency like that of maple syrup.
Transfer to sterilized jars. Cool completely. The boiled cider is ready to use right away; or, sealed tightly, it can be refrigerated indefinitely.
From food writer Emily Horton.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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