giving: boiled apple cider syrup

11.19.2012

apple cider - reading my tea leavesDuring the holidays, and always, it's nice to arrive to a place you've been invited to with a little something extra for your host. It should be known that I don't always manage to follow my own advice with this one, but I do try, I promise. It should also be known that I refuse to call these little tokens hostess gifts. The name is so old-fashioned that it should be scratched right out of Webster's. You have my permission to deface your dictionary.
apple cider - reading my tea leaves
This gift takes a little more planning and time than the mulling spices that I put together last year, but the result is delicious and inspired, and dare I say, better. Reserve this one for someone really special.
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves
The concept behind boiled apple cider syrup is about as simple as it sounds. Boil your apple cider down until it becomes thick and syrupy. You'll need a few solid hours at home to make a batch, but the good news is that the simmering cider can be left largely unattended. If you put on a pot when you return home from work in the evening, it should be ready by the time you head off to bed, with only a few stirs in between.
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves
Once my cider had thickened to syrup, I strained it through a sieve to trap any solid pieces. A tiny funnel helped me to fill a small glass bottle that I'd sterilized in a pot of boiling water.
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves
Aside from the robust taste, the best part about this gift (in the eyes of this history-lover at least) is boiled apple cider syrup's place in the annals of history. Emily Horton's piece on the subject is a delightful and quick read. Make this and you'll have done your part to revive a classic American culinary tradition (go Pats)!
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves
Once you've bottled your syrup, make a little tag for your bottle and tie it up with a bit of ribbon and a cinnamon stick for merry-making. Encourage your friends to drizzle this tart syrup into sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, pie crust and hot toddies.
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves
The stuff's so good that if you have a large enough pot, you might consider boiling down a whole gallon and keeping some for yourself. Kept refrigerated, the syrup could last until next Thanksgiving. I have a hunch it'll be polished off long before that.
boiled apple cider syrup - reading my tea leaves

Boiled Apple Cider Syrup
Recipe adapted from this one in the Washington Post.

1 1/2 gallon apple cider

1. Pour apple cider into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring the cider to boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 2-3 hours or until it has reduced to about 1 cup. Don't fear: it will take a long time for the cider to turn syrupy. I was convinced mine would just disappear rather than thicken, until finally, thicken it did. Persevere!

3. Once cider has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, pour through a sieve to strain any solid bits. (The original recipe didn't mention this step, but I had lots of little floating bits in mine and wanted them out)! Transfer syrup to a sterilized jar. Syrup is ready to use right away and will store indefinitely if refrigerated.

40 note(s) by friends.:

  1. I cannot wait to try this! And the packaging is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd never heard of this before, but now I will have to try to make my own!
    And yes, agree with Wendy - the packaging is great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. SUCH a great hostess gift (I kid - I too hate that word)
    But for real - this is fantastic

    ReplyDelete
  4. what a gorgeous gift! i would love to receive this!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a fun gift! I'm saving the apple butter I made a few weeks ago to give as holiday gifts. I love your packaging, by the way--do you use stamps to make the labels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Tiny little stamps. You can actually see a shot of them in my last week in objects post!

      Delete
  6. I have never heard of boiled apple cider syrup...it sounds divine! Thank you for sharing this recipe...back to Bishops!

    ReplyDelete
  7. so glad you guys like it! you'll have to report back after you've made some!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Perfect timing, Erin. My sweets overdid it picking apples this fall and they are beginning to go. I think I'll run them through my juicer and give this cider syrup a try... thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi there, jodi! i'm not sure how this will turn out with regular old apple juice! let me know if you find out anything about how that works!

      Delete
    2. Hi Erin, just wanted to report back to you about my experiment. My juicer makes very cidery looking apple juice, cloudy and dark, which is why I thought it might work out for me. I'm happy to say that I just finished cooking over a gallon (!) and it reduced down into the most incredible & flavorful elixir! I already added a bit to some delicata squash rounds I'm roasting for a savory galette & can see it will find its way into many, many things. Thanks again for the inspiration & Happy Thanksgiving to you + yours.

      Delete
    3. That is so great! I'm so excited that it worked out! A savory galette with delicata sounds delicious. Happiest Thanksgiving to you, too!

      Delete
  9. just out of curiosity, why do you hate "hostess gift"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good question! i don't like the fact that it's a gendered term that refers only to women. in our house, and in the houses of most of our friends, hosting is a shared responsibility. too bad the term "host gifts" hasn't caught on!

      Delete
    2. ahhh i see. i'm a little dense sometimes :) makes total sense. i agree with crossing out the "ess" from hostess then!

      www.everywhimandnotion.com

      Delete
  10. This. Is. Awesome. As if I needed a reason to make Fall's apple cider last even longer! This is great.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing recipe, this would make for great gifts around Christmas x

    ReplyDelete
  12. This sounds amazing! I've made apple cider caramel before but this would be much healthier (maybe). Thanks!

    Sharna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. apple cider caramel sounds amazing!

      Delete
  13. This looks delicious. But I don't know if I could bring myself to give it away! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your presentation of this gift is just stunning! I'm getting jars this week for my festive season food gifts to go in. I'm thinking of making pesto and guacamole for summer pasta salads and corn chip dips on our hot summer days.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love this cant wait to try it... i dont know what i look forward to more, the apple cider syrup or an excuse to stay home for a few hours!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wonder if this would be possible in a crock pot, as well? I inherited my granny's 1970's crock pot, which is actually set up to be a vessel on top of a hot plate - and believe it or not, that thing cranks out some heat! I plan on trying it out tomorrow without the lid fully secured on top. Will let you know how it goes!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey there,

    Would you consider boiling the cider with mulling spices to maked a mulled apple cider syrup? I think that's what I'm going to go for... What do you think?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey, buddy! that sounds AMAZING. i don't think it'll do anything terrible and will likely be awesome! do it & report back!

      Delete
  18. I was wondering how much a 1/2 gallon makes? Just the one bottle you show? I definitely will be making this as gift for the holiday season and need to know how much apple cider I will need for all of them. Thanks for inspiration! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Valerie! A 1/2 gallon yields about 8 oz (1 cup)--which was exactly right for my little bottle! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wonder if this will work with apple juice. I've searched high and low, and they just don't sell apple cider where I live (Japan).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for sharing this! I have 1.5 gallons simmering away right now, although I did add the juice of eight clementines I had sitting around. Once it starts reducing, I'll check it again to see what else it needs. This will be absolutely perfect for a care package I'm sending a friend who moved away to New York. She loves this sort of thing, and I enjoy getting her things she loves (not that having some put aside for myself won't be nice too).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Erin, Thanks for the great idea! May I ask where you got your bottles?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Scott! I got that bottle at a local kitchen shop called Cook's Companion. I'd suspect you might be able to find something similar at most kitchen shops! Good luck!

      Delete
  23. Such a great gift idea, thank you for the inspiration! I have a question about refrigeration. I want to ship a couple bottles home to family. Do you think it will keep for the 4-5 days shipping time or does it require constant refrigeration? I'm really hoping it has a "shelf life"! Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm! Good question. Can't say I've tried leaving it out of the fridge, so I don't have a very good answer. Are you in a chilly spot? Maybe a few days in the back of an unheated truck wouldn't be so bad? That being said, I once bit into a very rotten bit of banana bread that had been delayed in its delivery. After that experience, I've been less brave about shipping perishables!

      Delete
  24. This looks so lovely, but what do you do with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest drizzling it on roasted veggies, incorporating it into pie crusts and using it in holiday cocktails! It's tart and delicious.

      Delete
  25. I just tried making this and within one hour all of the cider was gone and a little burned foam was all that remained in the pot.
    ???
    Maybe med-low should really be: very low flame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh darn it! i didn't have any trouble with medium-low, but all stoves are different! the cider should definitely only be simmering after it's reached the initial boil. so sorry to hear that you had trouble--must be so disappointing!

      Delete
    2. thanks-- I tried again with a lower flame and had some success this time. Although the consistency is more jam-like than liquidy syrup...oh well, still tastes good!

      Delete
    3. I believe Icooked it a bit too long mine turned into jelly!! But it is delicious!!

      Delete
  26. These are so pretty! Where did you get the bottles, ribbon, and stamps/stickers?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for writing a note! Please remember to keep comments and links relevant to the conversation. No room for spam around these tea leaves. xo.

reading my tea leaves All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.