As part of the ongoing zazu farm stand, we brought a large wooden cider press to the restaurant and had a cider making party. Making cider with this press is a remarkably simple process. Apples are washed and halved and fed into the hopper, which chops them up. Once the press is full, you slide it under the crankshaft. You end up with lot’s of pomace, which Duskie fed to her pigs.
On the 25th we are going to reduce some of the cider into a glaze for meat, and also reduce it with vinegar as a salad dressing. Many people also freeze the juice or make popsicles, just make sure you leave some room in the bottle so it doesn’t explode.
We used mostly sweet varieties of apple like golden delicious, red delicious, and fuji, but we also added in some semi-tart jonathan apples.
Cooking With Cider:
An excellent book about apples is Frank Browning’s “Apples” New York: North Point Press, 1998. In it he writes about the way different cultures have cooked with apples and cider throughout history. My favorite recipe is below:
Cider Squirrels Southern Style
“The squirrels are skinned and cleaned, then soaked in cold salt water, dried and rolled in seasoned flour,browned in bacon fat, and simmered in dry cider until tender. The pieces of squirrel are allowed to cool, then rolled in the seasoned flour a second time and browned again, this time in butter. The leftover cider, meat juices, and pan scrapings are mixed with a paste made of one tablespoon of flour and a cup of cream, whice is poured slowly into the pan juices and cooked a few minutes until it becomes a smooth gravy.” (Browning, 1998)