Tag Archives: Apple Cider

Apple Cider Cream Pie

Apple Cider Cream Pie 6178

Alright, y’all – Thanksgiving is one week from today!! Are you ready? I am, but that is because I’m being super, super lazy and hedonistic about Turkey Day this year. Not only am I not hosting, I’m not even bringing anything besides wine. Admittedly, that’s not like me, but it’s all because Matt and I are on vacation as we speak, spending a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina and won’t get back until the day before T’Giving, and then we will show up to dinner jet-lagged. Matt’s family is so lucky to have us as guests. [HA!]

apple cider cream pie 6155

Apple Cider Cream Pie 6158

But for everyone else being much more productive and responsible Thanksgiving citizens, I’ve got another pie idea for your dessert table. This is for all of you who are sick of the usual pecanpumpkin-sweet potato-apple suspects and want to shake things up a little, while still remaining true to the season and its flavors.

Apple cider cream pie 6192

Apple cider!!! It’s not just for cakes and doughnuts anymore. Once you taste your first bite, you too will conclude that it’s quite at home in a pie. That said, make sure you get a high quality cider to use here. You’re reducing it down and concentrating the flavor, not boozing it up and drinking it, so quality really matters and people will notice if you cheat. The apple cider really shines through.

Apple Cider Cream pie 6212

And it’s a delicious pie. Its flavor is somewhat lighter than that of pumpkin or sweet potato pies, but when it comes to warmth and earthiness, this pie can play with the big boys. The warm spices are perfectly balanced with the almost tanginess of the cider and the tart apple flavor. Your guests will go crazy for it. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Cream Pie 6219

{One Year Ago: Cranberry Chiffon Pie, Truffle Butter Roast Turkey}
{Two Years Ago: Stuffing Bruschetta}

Source: slightly adapted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
1 ½ cups cloudy, organic apple cider
4 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream
¼ tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease a 9” pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out your pie dough to about 11-12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to your prepared pie plate. Tuck the overhang under and crimp decoratively. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Line the bottom and sides with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes, until partially baked, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the pie crust is cooling, prepare the apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. You need ¾ cup reduced cider. Let it cool completely.
When the crust and cider reduction have cooled, it’s time to actually bake your pie. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, sour cream and salt until fully incorporated. Slowly drizzle in the reduced cider and whisk to fully incorporate.
Place the pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust and bake about 50 minutes (you may need less time, so start checking earlier), until the filling has just set. The edges should be set firmly and the center should be jiggly but not liquidy. Remove the pie to a wire rack and cool completely.
Once the pie has cooled and is ready to serve, make the topping. In a large bowl, using your stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk by hand, whip the cream with the sugar and cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Pile the cream on top of the cooled pie and sprinkle with a dash more ground cinnamon. Slice into wedges and serve.

Cider-Glazed Turkey with Lager Gravy

Cider-Glazed Turkey with Lager Gravy 5700

Happy Sunday!! I’m so excited for today’s post! As my regulars know, I’ve been (mostly) focusing the month of November on getting everyone ready for Thanksgiving with plenty of ideas for your big Turkey Day. Thus far, I’ve blogged some starters and sides; don’t worry, desserts are coming your way soon.

Cider-Glazed turkey with lager gravy 5718

But for today, I’m so thrilled to be bringing you a whole roast turkey, complete with luscious, rich gravy! After some drama (I was previously unaware of how difficult it is to locate a whole turkey in October, but word of advice – it is! Wait until November.), I ended up roasting this huge bird alongside this wonderful side dish for a lovely, beautiful Wednesday evening dinner. (See, this is how you keep hump day from being mundane, haha!)

Cider-Glazed Turkey with lager gravy 5733

Lager Gravy for Thanksgiving Turkey 5712

So, let’s talk turkey, shall we? This particular bird is probably going in my Best Turkey I’ve Ever Tasted, Period file. I think it was the cheesecloth. The melted-butter-and-apple-cider-soaked cheesecloth that draped over the entire breast and legs of the turkey. With a few sage leaves thrown in for good measure. It seriously kept the bird SO moist. No hint whatsoever of the dreaded dry breast meat.

cider glazed turkey with lager gravy 5764

Then there was the gravy. I have to confess, I’ve never really taken my time with Thanksgiving turkey gravy. Some pan drippings, flour, turkey or chicken stock, maybe a splash of cream and some herbs, and that’s pretty much it. But this gravy…. For this one, I took my time and gave it lots of special attention. I used the neck and the giblets, and let this thing simmer almost the entire time the turkey was roasting.

Cider glazed turkey with lager gravy 5762

Cider-glazed turkey with Lager gravy 5778

And, the rewards were great. This is one of the most flavorful gravies you will taste. Beautifully smooth and lush and silky. And now, this will sound like a strong statement, but: if you serve this turkey to your guests, they will still be talking about it when you see them again for Christmas. In fact, you might not want to host Christmas dinner, because I’m honestly not sure what you could make that could live up to the reputation you’re going to achieve when you serve this amazing turkey at Thanksgiving. Matt declared it the best turkey he’s ever tasted, and I’m betting at least one person in your family will as well. I hope you all will enjoy this one as much as we did.

cider-glazed turkey with lager gravy 5780

{One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze, Chocolate Meringue Pie}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, November 2011; recipe submitted by Michael Symon


1 (12-14 lb.) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
2 tbs kosher salt
1 unpeeled head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 jalapeno, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, quartered
12 sage leaves
1/3 cup cloudy organic apple cider
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter

2 tbs olive oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cloudy, organic apple cider
1 (12 oz.) bottle of lager
1 fresh bay leaf

For the TURKEY: season the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Set on a large plate and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Uncover the turkey and let it return to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. Stuff the cavity with the garlic, jalapeno, apple and 6 of the sage leaves. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. If the wings are flopping about, tie a large circle around the top of the turkey breast so they lay flat and tight against the breast.
Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan, combine the cider with the butter and the remaining 6 sage leaves and cook over low heat until the butter has melted and the sage is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Dampen a 32-by-20-inch piece of cheesecloth* with water and squeeze dry. Immerse the cheesecloth in the apple cider-butter mixture until the liquid is absorbed. Drape the soaked cheesecloth over the turkey breast and legs.
*Please don’t get out your ruler for this step. Just make sure you have enough cheesecloth to cover the turkey breast and legs. It’s fine to use 2 sheets.
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan and continue to roast for about 2 hours longer, rotating the pan a few times, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 165 F. It may take more or less time than stated.
Meanwhile, make the GRAVY: in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the turkey neck and giblets, except for the liver, and season with salt and pepper. Reserve the liver. Cook over moderate heat, turning a few times, until nicely browned, about 12 minutes. Remove the turkey parts to a plate and reserve.
Off the heat, stir the flour into the fat in the saucepan to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the cider until smooth, then whisk in the lager. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking continuously until thickened. Return the browned turkey parts to the saucepan and add the bay leaf. Cover and cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until the gravy is flavorful, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the turkey parts and the bay leaf.
When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and carefully peel away the cheesecloth and discard. Transfer the turkey to a rimmed cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim off the fat. Add the pan juices to the gravy and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season the reserved liver with salt and pepper, add to the gravy and simmer until pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Remove the liver and cut into small chunks.
In a blender, puree the liver with about 1 cup of the gravy. Whisk the liver puree into the gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste. Rewarm the gravy if necessary. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Roast Butternut Squash Salad with apple cider vinaigrette 5594

So, growing up, I don’t think we ever served a salad at Thanksgiving. Or did we? Perhaps we did, and I just didn’t eat it. It wouldn’t have been the only thing at the spread that I declined (stuffing/dressing, cranberry sauce…). Care to weigh in, Mom? 🙂

But, even if my family of origin (probably) didn’t have salads at our Thanksgiving table, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t, or shouldn’t. If you want a seasonal, light yet satisfying salad before carving your bird, please look no further. This one is fantastic. I was so in love…

roasted butternut squash salad with apple cider vinaigrette 5603

I served just this as our dinner one night last week (a good option if you also decline salads at the Thanksgiving table) and I had zero problems plowing through two plates of it. The sweetness of the squash balances out with the bitterness of the baby arugula, and then you play off those flavors with a slightly sweet apple-y vinaigrette and salty cheese. The crunch of toasted pecans plays in perfectly, rounding out the bowl and proving that a good salad is a thoughtfully-constructed feat.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette 5589

I highly recommend you make this one before the season is up. It is soooo unbelievably good. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Pumpkin Apple Cake}

Source: slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

1 (1 ½ lb.) butternut squash, peeled and diced
Olive oil
1 tbs maple syrup
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbs dried cranberries
6 tbs cloudy apple cider
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs minced shallots
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz. baby arugula
½ cup pecans, toasted
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with about 2 tbs olive oil, the maple syrup, plus salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan in the last 5 minutes of roasting.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, cider vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook about 6 minutes, until reduced to 2-3 tbs. Remove from the heat, whisk in the mustard, ¼ cup olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture and the pecans. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Garnish with the cheese and extra black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Apple Cider Doughnuts #SundaySupper

apple cider doughnuts

It’s Sunday, which you know means I’m posting another #SundaySupper dish! Our theme this week was “I Got You Covered” which meant we could do one of three things; 1) a covered dish, like something you’d take to a potluck; 2) something that has a “covering” like a cake covered in frosting; or 3) an “I’ve got you covered” for a need or a problem you might have. I’m going with the last category.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Starting in late September and ending in December, it seems like for the past few years apple cider doughnuts have become all the rage. You see them in bakeries, grocery stores, farm stands, and fruit orchards. There’s usually a long line. And I don’t know about you, but I am rarely impressed with them.

apple cider doughnuts holes

The last ones I bought were at the orchard we go to for apple picking. Supposedly they are renowned for their apple cider doughnuts and people drive for miles to get them. And yes, there was about a 45 minute line we stood in to sample some for ourselves. They were …. good. But were they stand-in-line-for-45-minutes-in-front-of-negligent-parents-who-let-their-toddler-blow-a-piercingly-loud-whistle-in-your-ears-for-20-of-those-minutes good? No. Not even.

apple cider doughnuts

So I set about making them at home. the problem most people have with the store-bought apple cider doughnuts is that they don’t taste like apple cider. The ones I’ve tasted haven’t, pretty much across the board.

Apple cider doughnuts

But when you make these at home, they definitely, definitely do. They are soooo delicious. And this is how “I’ve Got You Covered!” – you can have apple cider doughnuts that actually taste like apple cider without having to wait in line! If that isn’t exciting, then I just don’t know what would be. Try them soon, you’ll love ‘em!

apple cider doughnut, eaten

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper team!

{One year ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake}

Source: adapted from Glazed, Filled, Sugared and Dipped by Stephen Collucci

½ cup apple cider
2 tbs unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil, for frying

Cinnamon Sugar:
½ cup sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Pour the cider into a small saucepan and boil about 5 minutes, letting it bubble until reduced to a syrupy 2 tablespoons. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well, then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Drizzle in the reduced cider and the buttermilk. Mix until just combined. The dough should hold together, but still be on the sticky side. Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes or in the freezer for about 10 minutes – just until it’s nicely chilled.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead with floured hands until no longer sticky and you can work with it, adding more flour as needed. Roll it out with a floured rolling pin to about ½ an inch thick. Using either a doughnut cutter or 2 biscuit cutters, a 3” and a 1”, cut out doughnuts and doughnut holes. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator about 20 minutes.
While the doughnuts are chilling, make the cinnamon-sugar by combining all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mixing well.
Meanwhile, heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or a large skillet. Heat to 350 F. Fry the doughnuts and doughnut holes in batches, taking care not to crowd the pot, until golden brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Immediately toss them in the cinnamon sugar and serve.

Covered Appetizers and Entreés

Covered Desserts

Not Sure What To Do? We Got You Covered

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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Apple Cider Margaritas

Apple Cider Margaritas

Guess what day it is? No, not Hump Day; rather it’s the day I hit 300 posts!! Three hundred, y’all! This blog has been such a wonderful journey for me, and I have so much more to share.

apple cider margarita

So let’s celebrate with a margarita. Sounds good to me! Since ‘tis the season for apple cider, I’m thinking that using apple cider for margaritas is the way to go. These were awesome – they were warm yet cold, earthy yet spikey, and perfect for the fall and the holidays.

apple cider margaritas

I highly recommend finding the gold tequila for these (not that gold tequila is hard to find). While silver tequila is more common, the warmth and richness of the gold tequila is perfect for this autumn drink. If all you’ve got is silver though, it would probably work just fine.

apple cider margaritas

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my loyal readers for coming on the fun trek with me! I love you all!! Enjoy!

Apple cider margarita

{One year ago: Green Bean Casserole}

Source: adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ground cinnamon
Granulated Sugar
Raw sugar, such as Turbinado
1 ounce orange liqueur
1 ounce gold tequila
5-6 ounces sweet apple cider
Apple slices, for garnish
cinnamon sticks for garnish

Add a spoonful of cinnamon, granulated sugar, and raw sugar to a plate. Mix together. Run a moist paper towel around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the orange liqueur, tequila and apple cider and shake to mix. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!

Makes 1 drink, as written.

Buttered Spiked Apple Cider

Buttered spiked apple cider

Confession: I’m not much for traditions. My innate personality (Myers-Briggs Idealist) naturally tends toward future-focused forward thinking, and I tend to be good at thinking on my feet and making things work. To me, traditions can be wonderful and they do have their place, but traditions just for the sake of it tend to make me annoyed. I see them as an extremely slippery slope to falling into “the way we’ve always done it” thinking, which is something I completely abhor. Plus, traditions can become meaningless, which I also cannot stand. But, traditions are like regrets: I have a few. And today I’m sharing one of them. Traditions, that is.

Buttered Spiked Apple Cider

Every year on the weekend before Halloween, Matt and I carve a pumpkin, and we always accompany this activity with this delicious apple cider libation. This yearly event came about in the most nonchalant of ways, with us simply wanting a drink to have with the pumpkin carving, and beer didn’t sound good to me at the time. So I found this recipe, made it, we loved it, and here we are eight years later.

buttered spiked apple cider

Upon our first go at pumpkin carving, we both realized how hysterically talentless we are at it. And I’m sure the spiked cider doesn’t help, but honestly, we’re so bad at pumpkin carving that it can’t possibly hurt. Or maybe it does – in order to know for sure, we’d have to carve a pumpkin without this spiked cider and compare the results. And we all know that isn’t going to happen, because this little beverage is just too good.

our carved pumpkin

It’s warm, seasonal, spicy and earthy. I highly recommend it, alongside a pumpkin carving or just because. Oh, and if you have a fireplace, then 1) I’m officially jealous, and 2) you should definitely find a chilly evening, light a roaring fire, and curl up with your pet or your significant other and sip on a warm mug of this beautiful drink.

buttered spiked apple cider

{One year ago: American Breakfast Sausage and 12 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving}

Source: slightly adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, February/March 2006

2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
½ quart apple cider
4 oz. brandy

In a small bowl, mash the butter with the cinnamon and ginger until thoroughly combined. Set aside at room temperature away from any heat source like the oven or stove top.
Heat the cider in a small stockpot over medium-low to medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. You want it hot, but do not boil it.
Ladle the hot cider into your mugs, about 2/3 full. Add 1 ounce of brandy to each mug and top with a dollop of the spiced butter. Makes about 4 drinks.

Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s another day in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  The streets in our neighborhood are still a horrid mess, but the recovery process has begun in earnest.  It’s very exciting that some public transportation is going to up and running by tomorrow morning, as it is operational a few days earlier than predicted.  Matt and I still cannot do much in the way of work, but we did get out for lunch today.

Our neighboring town has a strip of various shops and restaurants; it was nice to walk around, grab a tasty meal of Cuban cuisine, and engage in a little retail therapy.  We saw many little kids decked out in their Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating around the commercial establishments.  Thanks to Sandy, many residential streets around the city aren’t safe to walk in the dark, so businesses participated in the Halloween tradition.  Kids in costume walked up to cashiers, yelled “Trick or Treat!” and their plastic pumpkins were rewarded with various candies.  It was really sweet and heartening, that a neighborhood would band together after a devastating natural disaster to ensure kids still had a fun and proper Halloween.  Made me a very proud New Yorker.

These turned out delicious – a perfect treat for fall.  I do feel slightly guilty for using a boxed cake mix, as I try to always bake from scratch.  In cleaning out my pantry recently, I found a box of yellow cake mix that had been in there for God knows how long.  And even though I’m a big proponent of cooking real food from scratch, I still hated the idea of throwing it out.  So I used it for these cupcakes, with apologies.  No matter, everyone loved them.  I hope you can enjoy these before fall comes to a close.

Source: Look and Cook, by Rachael Ray

1 box yellow cake mix, plus required ingredients
Apple cider
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Regular sized cupcake/muffin liners

Mix the cake batter according to package directions, except swap whatever liquid called for with an equal amount of apple cider. Line two (12 count) muffin tins with the liners. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the liners evenly with the batter. Bake according to package directions. Let cool in the muffin tin for about five minutes, then transfer them to cooling racks and let them cool completely.
Make the frosting: in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. With the mixer on medium-low, gradually add the powdered sugar. Once combined, add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix until smooth and creamy.
Fill a pastry bag with whatever tip you choose (or fill a plastic food storage back and snip off the corner tip) with the frosting about halfway. Twist the end, then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
Note: I went a little overboard in piping on the frosting, and ran out before I got to the last two or three cakes. So please be mindful of that!