Nothing says fall like a great homemade Paleo Apple Cider recipe, made with gala apples, ground cinnamon, allspice and sweetened with maple syrup. Even better? If you make this recipe, you’re instantly making a Paleo Applesauce recipe as well! What an awesome 2-4-1! I will say that I prefer to watch it and stir it often, just to make sure that everything is equally submerged and cooking evenly without burning!
As for this week, it is the last week before we go to my parent’s home for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to catch up with everyone, I’m so antsy right now! It’s very difficult to live so far away from the family that we love, but that’s the price you pay for moving away! But before that, we have a book signing at Barnes & Noble at the Town Center Mall this Friday at 7pm, come and see us! It’s a chance to ask questions, try some awesome Paleo food (we’ll have some of our Paleo Blueberry Muffins to try!), and get to know us a little better. We love having the chance to personally connect to our community and answer any and all questions that you may have about this amazing lifestyle. But then after that, its off to Indiana!
Paleo Apple Cider
16 New York or Gala Apples
1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon (or 2 Cinnamon Sticks)
½ Tbsp ground Allspice
¾ cup Maple Syrup
~ 4 quarts Water
Peel of ¼ Orange
OK, so like I said, when you make this recipe, you are actually making 2 recipes at the same time – both our homemade Paleo Apple Cider AND Paleo Applesauce! I know, its so rare to get a 2-for-1 in the Paleo world of cooking! It’s a nice idea to plan out your baking schedule for when you make this cider too, as you can use the applesauce for muffins and cakes, even if you don’t like to eat it by itself.
Now on to the instructions: first, if you want to make the Paleo Applesauce too, start by peeling, coring, and then quartering the apples. If you don’t want to make applesauce, just quarter the apples, there is no need to remove the cores, seeds, or peels. Place the apples in a large stock pot (~8 quarts) and cover them with water – this is not an exact science (depending on the size of your apples), but it should take about 3-4 quarts of water. I like to fill the pot with water until the apples are submerged by about 2 inches of water.
Next, cut off strips of the orange peel into large enough chunks to remove. I remove the white part (pith) and just add the zest. You can include it, but it can cause a slightly bitter taste, so go easy on it. I would also like to note here that if you don’t have oranges, it is OK to leave them out altogether. It just adds a little flavor complexity and brightens up this cider…and I enjoy that…but again, not necessary. Add the orange peel, cinnamon, allspice, and maple syrup to the stock pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-high (~6 on my range) heat and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
After 30 minutes, turn the heat down to medium (~4) heat, then cover and cook for about an hour and a half, making sure to vent and stir occasionally.
Once the apples are essentially mush, take a potato masher and literally mash them. You’ll want to be sure not to crush the whole cinnamon (if using sticks), otherwise, mash roughly and let this cook for another 30 minutes.
Strain out the apple chunks from the liquid with a fine strainer, careful to save both the liquid (apple cider) and mush (applesauce).
For the apple cider, we’re all done! For the applesauce, you may need to give it a whirl in a food processor or just smash it additionally to get the consistency you want. This recipe yields about 3 quarts of Paleo Apple Cider and 2 ½ cups Paleo Applesauce.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 150 minutes (2.5 hours)
Makes about 3 quarts