The Cider House Rules

It’s Foodie Tuesday

I love fall. For me, nothing beats the colours of autumn, in either nature or clothing. I adore wrapping up in a cozy sweater and enjoying a cup of tea in the waning sun. And the cooler weather inspires me back to the kitchen to cook up comforting classics for family and friends.

apple harvestImage: The Purl Bee

Autumnal fruits are not abundant but who needs a wide variety when the versatile apple is in season? The perfect fall treat, apples are as crisp as the weather. But as much as I love eating them straight from the tree, I love apple cider even more.

apple ciderImage: Room for Dessert

Unlike filtered and pasteurized apple juice, which brings up awkward memories of kindergarten, apple cider is thick and rich- it really is like drinking an apple. I love to have a pot of cider on the stove when guests come over; simmering with orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of nutmeg, it perfumes the whole house with a welcoming scent.

Image: Scarlet Lime

I know that it is truly fall when my local coffee shop offers fresh, hot cider from a nearby farm. They serve it laced with caramel, which is one of the most decadent treats I can think of. Imagine my joy when I stumbled across Scarlet Lime’s recipe for apple cider caramels!

Image: Smitten Kitchen

As a child, my school took us apple picking almost every fall. It is still something I love to do when I have the time. My local orchard (which provides that wonderful cider to the coffee shop) takes advantage of the season by making apple cider donuts. You know they are making them when you walk into their shop: the room is filled with an enticing aroma of apples, sugar, and cinnamon. I wait all year for these donuts and now, thanks to Smitten Kitchen, I can make my own!

Image: Gimme Some Oven

I tend to think of apple cider as a sweet treat but it pairs remarkably well with meat and poultry. I often braise chicken in apple cider with chunks of apples and onions. Gimme Some Oven kicks it up a notch with an easy skillet recipe laced with lemon and herbs.

pulled pork with apple ciderImage: A Sweet Pea Chef

If you think pork chops with apple sauce is a winning dish, try making pulled pork with apple cider. A Sweet Pea Chef’s version roasts slowly in the oven, leaving lots of time to enjoy the wonderful fall weather while it cooks.

rutabaga glazed with apple ciderImage: Bon Apétit

Many autumn vegetables are intrinsically boring; rutabaga, anyone? But glazed with apple cider? Yes, please! I bet even the most stubborn of veggie-haters will like this recipe.

applesImage: NPR

Pick up some apple cider at a local orchard or market and experiment: mix it with chicken stock as a basting liquid for turkey or substitute it for water in a spice cake recipe. I promise you that it will make your recipes’ flavours as bright as the fall foliage.

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