||[Nov. 21st, 2015|04:59 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
Ken prefers his apple cider unpasteurized. There was some scare a few years ago about bacterial contamination of commercially produced cider, and since then there's only been pasteurized available. So, after years of whining, he did something about it! We bought a home cider press. It's kind of fun, we've been experimenting with apple types and preprocessing techniques. Turns out it's best to shred the apples with the finest tooth disk you can get for the cuisinart (this required some mail ordering). We have tried Macintosh, Macoun, Cortland, Empire, and Gala. First we tried just pressing them in individual batches. Various web sites suggested mixing types, which is indeed better. Gala are boring. The Macouns were mostly bad, all bruised, which was annoying. Cortland seem to be the best, and when mixed with Macintosh and Empire.
It's fairly expensive in terms of quantity of cider you get per dollar of apple (plus of course the labor). I guess commercial cider uses cheaper apples, since they don't have to be pretty like they do for buying at the store. We did not go apple-picking this fall, but perhaps will do so next year. You end up with a blob of dried-out shredded apples that looks remarkably like a cake. Valerie has been feeding them to her horse.
We still have to buy store-bought, because Jocelyn likes to make hot cider, and we don't do the whole press thing often enough to keep it in stock. But if you're going to cook it anyway, you are basically pasteurizing it, so why bother using the fancy expensive home-made stuff?