How to Make Apple Cider


The food processor has become my favorite kitchen gadget as of late. It makes sauces, pesto, salsa, and baby food ridiculously easy to whip up. I started wondering what else you could puree in the food processor, and came across written instructions for fresh apple cider. Making and enjoying apple cider seems like something you’d do in the fall, but I’m here to tell you that it was equally as refreshing in the warm spring weather we have been experiencing.

Choosing the right apple varieties for your cider is important. The fall season lends itself to a wide variety of apples to choose from – including heirloom favorites. In the spring, the selection is more limited but equally as great for making fresh apple cider. For any blend, it’s important to pick apples with a flesh that breaks apart easily (especially if using your food processor). You also want to choose sweeter varieties, like Fuji and Golden Delicious. Fuji apples are exceptionally sweet (the sweetest apple that we grow at Stemilt!) while Golden Delicious has a mellow, sweet flavor with a flesh that breaks down easily. These two apple varieties are also favorites for baking and making applesauce.

Making fresh apple cider is easy with just a few supplies and ingredients.

  1. Slice 6 medium apples into one-inch slices and place into a food processor.
  2. Process until apples have broken down into a “chunky” applesauce texture.
  3. Scoop apple mixture into cheesecloth, twist top of cheesecloth and squeeze liquid over a bowl.
  4. Repeat process until all juice has been squeezed, about 21 oz.

To get started, you’ll want to gather all of your supplies and ingredients. You’ll need a full-size food processor, six medium-sized apples, a cheesecloth, and a glass vessel of some kind to squeeze the juice out of the apples. A pair of gloves might be nice too, as this is a sticky and messy job!

After washing the apples, cut each one into one-inch slices. I quarter the apple and then slice each quarter. Put the apples into the food processor, fill it nearly to the top, and turn to on. You can use the pulse option at the end if there are pieces that still need to be broken down. The best part about using a food processor is that there isn’t much of an art to it. Load the fruit in, turn it on, maybe give it a stir to get any big chunks mixed it, and that’s it. Stop the food processor once your apples have broken down into what I would call “chunky” applesauce.

Next. scoop the apples into the cheesecloth. After some trial and error, I found it best to have the cheese cloth in the glass vessel that I was squeezing the juice into before scooping the apple mix into the cheesecloth. It was less messy this way. After a few scoops, twist the top of the cheesecloth to get the juice out of the mix and into the vessel. Repeat this process until you’ve made a full container of fresh apple cider!

Besides having minimal ingredients or kitchen equipment, the best part of making this apple cider is that you could save the apple reserves to use in baking. The small chunks of apples would be particularly great in a morning muffin or apple bread. You could also choose to put them in your compost bin to help aid in growing your own fruits and vegetables down the road.

This fresh apple cider made approximately 21 ounces and will keep for a week in the fridge, although I doubt it lasts that long! The sweet flavor will be enjoyed by everyone in the family – and with one-ingredient (apples) – no one should feel guilty about sipping on a glass of it at any point of the year. Enjoy!