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We have some fresh apple cider. I know we won't drink it all before it starts to turn fizzy, so I put some into a small saucepan and brought it up to a boil, then down to a simmer to reduce into boiled cider, since lately I've found more than a few recipes that call for it.

My question: how much do I need to reduce my cider? I want to make something that won't take up much fridge space, but will still pour reasonably well.

Thanks,

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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You should reduce it at least by half. You don't need to add anything else, the natural sugars will concentrate as it reduces and you can take it further if you wish.

Some people add cinnamon or other spices - with part of the batch I will drop in a cinnamon stick and possibly a few cloves, last year I tried a small batch with nothing but dried star anise and liked its more delicate flavor. (I cracked them with a hammer before adding them to the cider.)

The brand sold by King Arthur Flour is mentioned Here.

However there are others.

I cook it in a large crockpot, or if I am doing a big batch, in an electric roaster - which can be set to a high temperature. I have even cooked it in a deep fryer when I happened to be at a home without anything comparable and we needed the stovetop for other stuff.

Don't cover it, you want the steam to escape. I have two gallons in the kitchen right now, which is going to be reduced to boiled cider, i.e., two cooded down to one. Then part of that is going to be further reduced by about 1/3, at which point it should be a syrup, about the consistency of maple syrup.

I make it for use in a couple of holiday pies and pastries - in apple empanadas.

I also put in over baked squash - particularly acorn, butternut and Hubbard.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks, Andie.

By the time I got this, I'd reduced my quart or so of cider down to about 1/3 cup. I nearly had a catastrophe: the little saucepan I'd used is a little handle-heavy if there isn't enough inside, and if the pot's not perfectly oriented on the burner grate, it will tip. When I heard a clunk coming from the kitchen, I didn't think much of it at first, and figured there was a cat on the counter, knocking things around. Then I remembered which pot I'd used, and went dashing in to check. Fortunately, enough liquid had boiled away that tipping the pan didn't cause anything to slosh out. At that point, I poured what I had into a metal 1-cup measure, which I left on the burner and continued to evaporate. I think I've eliminated enough water that I won't have a storage issue...if it lasts that long. :smile:

Next time, I think I'll do a bigger batch. I very much like the crockpot idea.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I would just suggest putting a thermometer in the liquid as it boils. Don't let the liquid get above 220 Degree's TOPS! The higher the degree the less water and more concentration of sugar. 212 is boiling at sea level so just don't let it get more than about 8 degrees above your boiling point. You don't have to reduce it that much but that is as much as you would want to go...

Have a great day,

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Compared to the estimable advice provided by aguynamedrobert (post #4, above), Bobby Flay’s 20-word instruction for Apple Cider Reduction is abstractly simplistic. Kudos to aguynamedrobert for his exactitude! And thanks to andiesenji (post #2) for sharing a range of suggested uses for the end product.

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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Melissa,

Cooking a syrup to above 220 degrees may cause the syrup to crystallize. The crystallized sugar will drop to the bottom of the syrup container.

To check your syrup you may bring it to a boil and check the temperature. If the temp. is above 220 degrees at a boil, add two teaspoons of water and recheck the boiling temperature. The more water you add, the lower the boiling point. When you get the boiling point to 219 to 220 degrees, the syrup should not crystallize.

Good luck,

Tim

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If you want to do it in stages, helpful for larger amounts (and once it has been cooked to a certain point you don't have to immediately refrigerate it if you are going to be bringing the temp back up again within 12 hours or so) you can get a very inexpensive hydrometer so you will know the sugar content/concentration - I have one I bought years ago for $3.50. They cost a little more now, but are still pretty cheap.

Any winemakers supply will have them:

Like this one. Which also comes in handy to determine the acidity of my homemade vinegar.

The vendor Let's Do Wine also has other supplies and goodies you might find interesting.

They assume that many people will want to try only very limited amounts when starting out, so quantities are small and they are very helpful. If you have a question, it's like speaking to a long-time buddy.

Speaking of crystalization.

I didn't mention that several years ago a friend and I made a very large batch of the boiled cider syrup for a catering job she had up at Mammoth. (She made pecan pies with the syrup) We used the turkey fryer burner with my 41-quart pressure canner (no lid) on the deck outside my kitchen and the aroma was drifting around to the homes of my neighbors. Several dropped by during the day to ask various questions: Were we going to make applejack? Were we giving out samples? Were were going to sell it?

We started out at 6 am with 10 gallons of cider and cooked it down to 4 gallons, keeping it just at a fast simmer, by 4 pm.

As it was going to be used within a few days, we simply pumped it into gallon jugs (glass) using a syrup siphon and a 1 inch clear tube - a regular siphon won't transfer thick syrups.

I set the siphon aside and ran water into the pot and turned the heat on low to bring the water up to where it would dissolve the sugars, then helped my friend pack the 4 gallon jugs into her car. Of couse we stook around talking for awhile before she left and by the time I got back to the deck, the siphon pump was "frozen" solid with crystallized sugar.

I put it in the hot water and left it to soak. Still stuck. I tried forcing near boiling water into the tubing, that didn't work.

Finally I had to take the thing completely apart, carefully noting where and which way the springs fitted, and soaked and brushed the sugar out of all the nooks and crannies.

I think it took me two hours to get the thing to where it would work.

That was a good lesson in doing immediate cleanup on stuff that can seize up inside complicated devices.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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You just don't want to take it above 220 degrees F because it will become thicker and more viscous. A Caramel is taken to between 238-245 and that is firm enough to hold its shape. 220 is a good range for thicker sauces...

The higher the temp the less water is in the solution and more sugar. This equals a thicker end product. Crystalization can occur at any stage so when cooking sugar solutions just whip the sides of the pot down if crystals form. But I don't presume you will have a problem at such a low temp...

Have a great day everyone...

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Andie, as it turns out, we actually have both a hygrometer AND a refractometer (and a siphon starter :biggrin: ) in the house. My husband is a homebrewer, so we have all sorts of fun toys. Except that the hygrometer and refractometer are both currently in to school, as a colleague has a student working on a research project involving mashing and sugars. But they'll be back home before the next brewing session, whenever that happens.

I'm glad to know that nothing disastrous happens if you overheat the solution. I wondered if, at 220 degrees F, it would somehow drastically change for the worse.

I didn't measure the temperature of my boiled cider. But when I took it off the stove, it felt about like what happens when you heat up maple syrup. It's been in the fridge overnight, and it's still liquid enough to flow, albeit a very thick liquid.

Is it possible to make an apple-flavored caramel, either by boiling down cider enough or by using cider to moisten sugar and then boil that down?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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When making the boiled cider/pecan pie filling, which is very similar to a soft caramel,

assemble

2 cups boiled cider

2/3 cup cream

1 rounded tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a 1 1/2 or 2 quart saucepan, start cooking the boiled cider over low heat.

Meanwhile, combine the cream, butter, vanilla, egg yolks and salt and beat until completely blended.

Cook the cider until you begin to see bubbles holding their shape around the edges.

Remove from heat and add the cream mixture while beating constantly.

When completely blended, return to low heat and continue stirring constantly for about two minutes, if you want to add nuts, do so now.

Pour into a pan lined with Release foil or into a warmed, pre-baked pie shell or tart shells.

Each batch of boiled cider reacts differently, some condenses more rapidly than others but you will get a feel for it quickly.

This also makes a wonderful filling for the baby sugar pumpkins (which you have pre-baked)

and these say "Harvest Time" in style!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That sounds wonderful, Andie!

I used my boiled cider to make a cookie. I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour. They were a big hit with my husband, which is exactly what I'd intended.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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  • 4 years later...

I'm bringing this topic into the here and now because it is cider time! I just bought four gallons of fresh, unpasteurized cider and am going to make boiled cider syrup. :wub:

Will also try making some cider jelly. On purpose! :biggrin:

I have made the jelly in the past but quite by accident. I have read notes on several blogs that others have had this same experience. Unintended Jelly, a pleasant thought.

A smallish batch was made last year for one particular recipe but this year I have promised to make enough so some friends can try out some interesting recipes. Apparently they didn't like the commercial stuff.

It is possible that others might also like to try making a small batch of this stuff. The "perfect" reduction is said to be 7:1 but I never worked it out quite that precise.

When I start with a gallon I usually end up with slightly less than a quart of syrup that is about the thickness of commercial syrup - not quite as thick as Karo or sorghum.

I sometimes add a small amount of liquid in which I have cooked spices, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamom, allspice or pepper - either singly or in combination.

I have a little 2-cup percolator (stovetop) which works nicely for this without requiring much attention and I strain the liquid so the cider syrup will not be murky.

I used to add the spices directly to the cider and got a murky result. I learned by experience...

There are some lovely recipes that use cider syrup, all available online.

This one from James Beard's "Classic Home Desserts" -

And these from Earth First Farms.

And some very easy bar cookies from Chapin Orchard.

Just to give you some ideas.

In the past I have baked a ham glazed with the cider syrup, made a pecan pie using the cider syrup (apples and pecans have such wonderful affinity.

And, with a little additional cooking one can make it thick enough to coat apples, especially nice with the addition of cinnamon.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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And, with a little additional cooking one can make it thick enough to coat apples, especially nice with the addition of cinnamon.

That is clever and would surely be delicious. I may have to think about this.

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One gallon of cider - murky because it's unfiltered - in a slow cooker set on high.

boiledcider1.jpg

After simmering for 3 hours, unattended. Liquid level reduced by nearly an inch.

Boiledcider3.jpg

Some particulates beginning to bob to the surface - will begin skimming when they thicken and foam appears on the surface.

I use this method because there will be no "scorching" and it will not foam up and boil over as it invariably does on the stovetop. No constant stirring required until nearly the end of the process.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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One gallon of cider - murky because it's unfiltered - in a slow cooker set on high.

boiledcider1.jpg

If you wanted to clarify it, how would you do so? Filtering through a coffee filter? (That strikes me as potentially painfully slow.) Or maybe a gelatin clarification?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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One gallon of cider - murky because it's unfiltered - in a slow cooker set on high.

boiledcider1.jpg

If you wanted to clarify it, how would you do so? Filtering through a coffee filter? (That strikes me as potentially painfully slow.) Or maybe a gelatin clarification?

MelissaH

If I wanted it clear, I would filter it prior to cooking or somewhere in the process before it begins to thicken.

As I think a lot of the flavor is in the tiny bits of pulp that remain, I don't filter them out. I just skim off the foam that appears during the first phase of boiling because the stuff is tough and stringy. Once most of this is gone, I just leave it on a low simmer for several hours - in the slow cooker I don't have to watch it. It was finished early this morning. It is very flavorful.

I used 3/4 cup in some quick bread and this is what is left.

Just a bit over a pint.

HPIM4371.JPG

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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When making the boiled cider/pecan pie filling, which is very similar to a soft caramel,

assemble

2 cups boiled cider

2/3 cup cream

1 rounded tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a 1 1/2 or 2 quart saucepan, start cooking the boiled cider over low heat.

Meanwhile, combine the cream, butter, vanilla, egg yolks and salt and beat until completely blended.

Cook the cider until you begin to see bubbles holding their shape around the edges.

Remove from heat and add the cream mixture while beating constantly.

When completely blended, return to low heat and continue stirring constantly for about two minutes, if you want to add nuts, do so now.

Pour into a pan lined with Release foil or into a warmed, pre-baked pie shell or tart shells.

Each batch of boiled cider reacts differently, some condenses more rapidly than others but you will get a feel for it quickly.

This also makes a wonderful filling for the baby sugar pumpkins (which you have pre-baked)

and these say "Harvest Time" in style!

This sounds incredibly delicious.

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One gallon of cider - murky because it's unfiltered - in a slow cooker set on high.

Andie - is that with the lid on the crockpot or slow cooker or without. I assumed without to get the evaporation, but then the heat is hard to hold. Thanks! Your final product looks luscious.

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One gallon of cider - murky because it's unfiltered - in a slow cooker set on high.

Andie - is that with the lid on the crockpot or slow cooker or without. I assumed without to get the evaporation, but then the heat is hard to hold. Thanks! Your final product looks luscious.

The lid is off. Total time elapsed 20 hours but this is a "slow" slow cooker. When I use the Cuisinart, on which "High" is much hotter, it takes less time - this one is the West Bend - supposed to be a 6 quart but the capacity is safely 5 quarts, otherwise the stuff touches the lid when it is in place. Gooey bubbles around the lid.

It's much faster on the stove but then I have to pay attention to it. With this method I just pour in the cider and leave it alone 95% of the time, I check every four or five hours. Not much skimming needed on this batch and when I got up this morning it was perfect.

I have been promised some pear cider from a person who lives over in Littlerock - I'm going to see how that will cook down into syrup - I think it will be delicious!

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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