I grew up in Massachusetts. The Land of Apples and Apple Cider. Seriously, it is. My home town was Johnny Appleseed’s birthplace. Needless to say, you can get apple cider everywhere. Delicious, unpasteurized apple cider. Since I’ve moved to LA I haven’t been able to find any anywhere. I don’t think most people in LA know what I’m talking about when I say apple cider. I keep being directed to this sad looking stuff by Martinelli’s. That is clearly apple juice. I’ve tried the farmers markets but California passed a law saying it is illegal to make and sell unpasteurized apple cider. I guess as an adult I’m not allowed to make that decision on my own.
Anyway… I’ve been making my own wild fermented vinegar. (There will be a post on that later.) I wanted to test a batch of apple cider vinegar but as I mentioned couldn’t find any. I decided to take matters in my own hands and make my own. Since buying an apple cider press for $250 when you live in an apartment and don’t have an apple orchard is probably a little excessive, I took a different route.
First – a mix of sweet and tart apples. I used Pink Lady and Granny Smith. I juiced them in my Juiceman Jr (which I’ve had for 12 years and still works great!). Sometimes the peels end up in large pieces so I just kept gathering them up and running them through until they were incorporated into small pieces like the rest of the fiber. Mix the juice and fiber together and let sit. You could also use a blender or a food processor and just grind the apples up really fine.
It’s gonna be a gross looking sludge. You can put it in the fridge and let it sit a few hours or overnight if you wish to develop flavor. Then run it through a food mill. This will make a slightly finer sludge.
Set the strainer up on a mug or something so it can drip freely. You can press on it a little too. A little fiber is not a bad thing in apple cider.
Then – Voila!! Apple Cider!! The color difference and taste is amazing. Martinelli’s on the left, home made on the right. The whole process took under an hour and it was totally worth it. I used this for my vinegar but if you’re just going to drink it, keep in mind it will start to ferment a little after a few days.