26 October 2009

Along Came a Cider

I went apple picking recently. And it's already vaulted into my List of Favorite Things: the light but palpable fragrance of ripe fruit in the cool air, the sharp crack of the apple stem as you twist it from the tree's jealous grip, and of course, the succulent crunch of that first bite.

Ending up with a peck of apples for $8 wasn't bad, either. I've eaten one a day, devoured apple crisp and applesauce oat bran muffins and still, somehow, crave more.

I wanted to incorporate tea into an apple dish, however, instead of just serving it alongside. Why not brew the tea directly in apple cider? a little nagging voice whispered. It usually offers me far worse advice, so I didn't see any harm in trying a novel method- and let me tell you, not much tastes better in the slanted autumn afternoon light than a cup of this cider tea.

It takes mere minutes to prepare, and it makes your kitchen smell like a spice merchant being seduced by Aphrodite. (You'll know what I mean when you make it.)

You can use any strong black tea, but I chose a fragrant, spicy apple-flavored tea (pictured below) from David's Tea that I'd been wanting to try for awhile.

It's a blend of black and green leaves with chunks of dried apple and bits of cinnamon and almond. Brewed alone, I found it a bit too sweet (one of the reasons I usually avoid flavored teas), but when combined with the natural tartness of apple cider, it worked beautifully.

Spiced Apple Cider Tea

In medium saucepan, bring 2 cups apple cider to a boil. Turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon tea; let steep three minutes, then strain into large measuring cup. Pour cider back into saucepan and stir in 1 cinnamon stick, several cloves and a few slices of crystallized or fresh ginger. Bring just to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

Garnish with a few slivered almonds or cloves, and make sure each serving has a piece of crystallized ginger- a sweet and spicy reward for finishing the cup, although little incentive will be necessary.


Anonymous said...

YUM in days of old, apple trees were much taller & required a tall ladder to harvest---check w/your male parental unit for tales of how he, along w/numerous apples were let go.

anna said...

Ooh, what a great idea! I've just been steeping my cider with random flowers and spices to see what works - lavender is especially good and juniper berries warrant another try (wherein I will smash them first).

LiquidWeight said...

Genius title.

Anonymous said...

Look at our pretty apples! I can't wait to try that tea.


Tea Time Consultants said...

Love your photos. Great blog, my grandmother inspired the tea drinker in me and cooking. Apples are great for fall cooking.