Mulled cider with sweet roasted apples
It's the season to start mulling but why not make it cider rather than wine for a change this Bonfire Night
Makes 12-14 servings
1 litre good quality dry still (rather than sparkling) cider
250ml Somerset cider brandy or Calvados
1.5 litres cloudy English apple juice (e.g. Copella)
A thinly pared strip of lemon rind
2 sticks of cinnamon
For the roasted apples
10-12 small Cox’s apples or other small eating apples
About 75g light muscovado sugar
100ml dry cider
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Wash and core the apples and score them around the middle. Put them in a baking dish and stuff the centre of each with the sugar. (It’s easiest to do this with the handle of a spoon or fork). Splash over the cider and roast in the oven until soft and beginning to split (45-50 minutes).
Meanwhile put the cider, cider brandy or calvados, and apple juice in a large pan, together with the lemon zest, cinnamon and cloves. Heat through gently then leave over a very low heat without allowing the mixture to boil. When the apples are ready, tip them and their juices into the mulled cider. Taste, adding a little extra sugar if you think it needs it. Serve straight from the pan into heat resistant glasses or cups or transfer to a warmed bowl.
If you want a non-alcoholic version try this:
Mulled cider apple juice
Use the recipe as a basic guideline, adding more sugar or honey if you want it sweeter.
2 x 75cl bottles cider apple juice*
1 orange stuck with 10 cloves
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
6 level tablespoons granulated sugar or honey
5 cm piece cinnamon stick
2 level teaspoons finely grated fresh root ginger or ground ginger
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat to simmering point, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave over a very low heat without boiling for at least 20 minutes. This can be made in advance, then re-heated just before you want to serve it.
* You should be able to buy cider apple juice in a health food shop or farm shop. If not use a dry apple juice (such as russet) or add a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar to a good quality blended apple juice.
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