First, I’d like to share that where we live, we can actually get apples, Honduran apples. I couldn’t tell you the variety, but perhaps something akin to a Gala? Those pretty red, orangey, yellow kind that are small. They also sell USA apples here, the waxy looking ones like red delicious and granny smith, but those aren’t cidering apples. So we used the Honduran ones, ugly by US standards but still tasty. We bought 15 smallish apples for 30 lemps or $1.50, which is actually a little expensive for apples since it’s not the cosecha (harvest) right now.
The process was actually simple, but a little time consuming. We cored and chopped the apples then blended them in the licuadora as best we could, a little at a time so it took awhile. We then squeezed the pulpy substance a little at a time through a cheesecloth and viola, cider! We added a few sprigs of cinnamon and heated it up to pasteurize it then savored our fall treat with some homemade zucchini bread (a zucchini the size of my arm was only 5 lemps at the market). Our house sure smelled delicious.
Those 15 apples only made 2 glasses of cider though, either because they were small or because we don’t have the strength of an industrial apple press in our arms to properly extract all the juice. We’d have liked to make more but our arms were aching and the Michigan football game was almost on. We hope to try again next week if we can still find apples.
Part 2 involved using all the discarded apple pulp and pieces from the cider process. It felt wrong to just throw 4 cups of apple bits away. So we decided we’d try to make fruit leather, you know, the chewy dehydrated fruit snack. This process was equally straightforward. We mixed the leftover pulp with some orange juice, sugar and water and simmered it on the stove until the apples were soft and rehydrated. We further blended the mixture into an applesauce-like consistency. Then we spread the sauce on a pizza pan with some plastic wrap and let it sit in the oven which we heated up on and off for a day to dry it out. It actually turned out pretty delicious except for we left the oven on a little too long at the end and one part got kind of crispy. Still tasty though.
It was nice to be able to recreate some of our favorite fall traditions. It helps us not miss home so much. Plus it gives us something to do instead of work.