December 2021

Mulled apple juice / cider

Posted on December 23, 2021 at 4:17 pm in

In the USA, crushed cloudy apple juice is called “cider”. In most of the rest of the Commonwealth, cider is an alcoholic beverage made from apples. You can make this with either type of cider.

This is a non-recipe. My intent is to inspire you to experiment and go with what sounds good to you. As always, adjust to account for preferences and allergies.

Cider. 1 quart / 1 litre.

Sugar. 1/2 cup / 120ml. Yes, by volume!

Whole cinnamon. One chunk or one stick.

Star anise. One whole one.

Cloves. Start with 5 or 6.

Small oranges. Tangerines / clementines / satsumas. Give a little scrub and skewer with the cloves.

Black peppercorns. Start with twice as many as the cloves.

Nutmeg. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground.

Add everything to a suitably sized pan. Bring to an active simmer then turn down low. Let everything simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, then cut the heat. Let everything steep for an hour or more, then filter into a suitable container to store in the fridge. Serve hot or cold.

For an additional winter warmer, serve warmed and with a little of your favourite brown liquor added.


Cranberry and apple jam

Posted on December 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm in

This is the perfect accompaniment for a baked brie. Or for any other purpose you might want some jam for, such as a PBJ.

  • 1 packet cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup / 240ml sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml orange juice
  • 3 small, 2 medium, or 1 large apple, peeled and chopped into small bits
  • optional – orange zest and/or 1/4tsp ground cinnamon
  • Add first 4 ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium. Simmer till the cranberries pop. Add optional extras if desired.

    Note on texture – if you like, you can serve the jam as-is, which gives a nice chunky texture. I like to zap it a few times with a stick blender to make a mix of smooth and chunky. You can take it further and blend it smooth. However you prefer the texture you won’t be disappointed with pairing it with a nice baked brie!