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I love freshly pressed apple cider; it’s the official state drink where I live. You can’t compare apple juice to apple cider; it’s not apples to apples. Cider is made with blends of several different apples to give a balanced taste. Fresh cider is “raw” – it hasn’t undergone any filtration process to remove pulp. It has a shorter shelf life than its cousin. The cider you find in stores is pasteurized, but if you’re lucky enough to live near an apple farm or a farmers market, you can find it unpasteurized. It has a shorter shelf life, but it’s worth the taste. Pasteurization can change the sweetness and taste.

Because of the cider-making process, it is a seasonal delight. You can find it stocked in your local market before Halloween and through the Christmas holidays. You can drink it cold, mulled with spices, use in cocktails (add some Captain Morgan’s Spiced!) and cook with it.

Apple cider floats are an easy dessert – warm some cider, top with vanilla ice cream and caramel. Why not turn this float into ice cream? Caramel sauce would have been a phenomenal topping but I feared the gelato would melt too quickly. This recipe took longer to freeze. Often I can eat right out of the ice cream maker bowl, but this batch required some time in the freezer to firm. Instead of caramel, I opted for maple whipped cream and a maple-glazed pecan. Hmmm…maybe drizzled with maple syrup…

spiked cider gelato

What you need:

  • 2 c apple cider
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs bourbon

 

What you do:

  • In saucepan bring milk and 1 c cream to simmer over med heat.
  • Remove and set aside.
  • In bowl add 1 c cider, cream, sugar and cornstarch.
  • Whisk to mix well.
  • Slowly pour in hot milk mixture and whisk gently.
  • Return saucepan to heat, stir constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5-8 min.
  • Stir frequently and allow to cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Add bourbon and whisk to mix.
  • Sauté apples in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until caramelized, about 5 min.
  • Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, adding diced apple towards the end of freezing.
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