We went apple picking last weekend. It was pushing 90 degrees, but it is a New England essential this time of year and we just had to go. We packed our picnic and lots of water and headed out to the apple picking mecca of Stow, MA.
It was hot, really hot. There was something just unnatural about picking apples in shorts, but once we tucked ourselves under a tree and opened our picnic basket all seemed okay. Perhaps because I brought along a chunk of my favorite Kerrygold Dubliner – a natural pairing for the crunchy apples, or maybe because we found a nice shady spot. Either way we now have a 1/2 bushel of apples in the fridge downstairs. They are delicious, crunchy, tart, sweet and juicy. Even if we all eat our apple-a-day, a lot of apple cookery must happen if none are to go to waste.
If you are a regular to this site, then you know I do a lot with apples. Once the apple snacking frenzy is over, I start work on the other stuff. Always first is a crisp, then I make quarts of apple sauce, jars of apple butter, pancakes, scones and even pastas.
Last year I even shared a recipe for Duck Breast with Cider Sauce made with cider reduced with aromatics. This year I’ve taken that idea to a new level. I reduced plain unflavored apple cider down until it is as thick as maple syrup and I’m eating it on and in everything. It’s so good. You can toss with with veggies before roasting, in baked goods for flavor or as a dessert topping over bread pudding or even ice cream.
Calling this a recipe is a stretch. It’s more a technique. The directions couldn’t be simpler. Take a half gallon of sweet unflavored apple cider and pour it in a pot. Turn the heat on and cook, and cook and cook… The result will surprise you. A few drops of the cider syrup will turn muffins into apple scented dream puffs, turn butter pecan ice cream into apple crisp ice cream and turn Brussel sprouts into…well…something edible. Enjoy!