I’ve come to associate produce with seasons as much as others might associate sports or clothing changes. Spring is spinach and asparagus, summer is tomatoes, peppers and peaches, and fall is squash and apples.
You can already get apple seconds, the less pretty put perfectly good fruit, at the farmers’ market. That means canning of apple sauce and apple butter isn’t far behind. If I was fortunate enough to own an apple/fruit/grape press, that would also translate to fresh cider soon. Instead, at least for this season, I’ll just have to fork over the 3 bucks for a half-gallon.
I found the nifty idea of boiled cider via the Washington Post yesterday. It seems simple enough, take some cider, cook it down for a few hours and bam, you have a thick, rich syrup to add that fresh fall flavor for the whole winter.
They syrup was used before cane sugar was so easy to get at your corner store to sweeten pies and deserts, but also used in liquid brines for meats and as your great-grandma’s secret baked bean ingredient.
I’ve got to admit, making a brine for pork out of boiled cider, apple cider vinegar and some salt water sounds pretty good. And adding this stuff as an alternative sweetener to pancakes would be great. Heck, you could get real creative, through a vanilla bean while the stuff cooked down and have some complex flavors.
While we’re on the subject of apples, I thought this was really neat, though I’m sure it’s been done elsewhere.
The guy on the left is a farmer/chef/restaurant owner in the state of Washington. He grows apples in bottles to add flavor to his homemade apple cider vinegar. My mind is racing with ideas. Peaches, figs, tomatoes, cucumbers? Infused vodka? Infused vinegar? Infused everything!? Of course.