The September King Arthur Flour's bakealong challenge has an ingredient that got my interest piqued. I have never heard of boiled cider, absolutely love apple cider, but boiling it down to a thick syrup? No, have not heard of it....until now. In the challenge recipe this month, there are alternatives to this ingredient (such as molasses, brown sugar, etc), but says that boiled cider is really the preferred choice, and that you had to buy it from them, you can't just boil apple cider...... Oh, yeah you can, I did some research.
The best recipe and description of boiled cider that I could find was from Rebecca, over at her blog: "Foodie with Family", she has a great recipe and some background about it. Yes, you can buy it, but it wouldn't be true to myself if I did that, without some investigating.
OK, so what is boiled cider and what do you use boiled cider for? Well in the bakealong with King Arthur Flour, you add a quarter cup of this syrup to the batter for a more heightened pumpkin flavor, you can add this syrup to apple pie filling to bring about a stronger apple flavor. Tasting it, I can see it as a syrup over pancakes, ice cream, and Rebecca at Foodie with Family, also suggests over ice with seltzer water. It's a syrup, so use your imagination!
According to Ark of Taste in the USA they report about it and Cider jelly as a ..."relatively little known except as a cultural artifact, and certainly underappreciated." I have to agree! Yes, it takes a few hours to accomplish from boiling apple cider, but the results are dripping with flavor and benefits! Give it a try!
In a stainless steel, non-reactive stew pot, stock pot, what ever, I used one gallon jug of apple cider.
1 gal Apple Cider
other ingredients to each is own:
Cinnamon, ginger, vanilla bean, allspice, etc. I didn't do it this time.
Boil down to 1/7th of it's original amount.*
*My husband is a scientist and gave me the exact measurment in meters.......I with a glazed-over-face, I got a popsicle stick from my craft stash and measured the before amount in the pot and divided up the eights on the ruler and did it that way and made my mark there as well. It took about 2 hours on medium heat on the stove for the total reduction, and OH how the house smelled!!
Some time later, you have a nice thickening apple syrup!