Bake With Alternative Liquids: Apple Cider Recipe

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As you know here at Rosie Discovers we kind of march to the tune of a different drummer. I like to experiment with just about everything in the kitchen. You never know what I’m going to try next. At the moment that includes using different liquids to flavor dishes versus using more spices. I’ve been doing this for years now with my beer bread recipes. If you haven’t tried my yeasted beer bread recipes, you should definitely give them a go.

But I digress, we’re talking about baking and cooking with alternative liquids. I use coffee or espresso, cider, beer and other hard liquors.  Let’s talk about each. I use coffee or espresso (actually straight espresso because I rarely use anything but this to make coffee) in any chocolate recipe. I swap in coffee equally for whatever liquid is used in the recipe. This boosts the chocolate taste for all those chocolate fanatics in your life.

Cider, for which I’ll attach a sous vide or slow cooker recipe to this post, you can use in any apple recipes instead of a slew of spices to get amazing flavor. For years now I’ve always par cooked my apples before using them in baking to keep them from shrinking or causing my finished dishes to end up soggy. I do this for pies, tarts, pastries, cakes, if it’s baked you can bet I’ll be parcooking my apples before baking. But doing this does leave you with dryer apples, to combat this I’ve started adding apple cider to the cooked apples at the end of cooking with a little bit of cornstarch so you end up with perfectly glazed apples. The cider majorly punches up the flavor in your apple dishes without needing to add spices. I’ve yet to try this as the actual liquid in an apple bread, but I can imagine it will give the bread that perfect apple flavor.

Beer has been used in cooking for what it seems like forever. You’ll find recipes calling for beer from the basic brats to chilis to stews to mac and cheese, the beer enhances each of these dishes by adding depth of flavor. Baking with beer adds whatever flavor notes are present in the beer along with a bit of a sour note which I find is perfect in yeasted breads.

Lastly we come to using other liquors. Adding ice cold liquor like vodka or whisky or bourbon to pastry doughs instead of water makes an amazing flakey crust because all of that booze evaporates when baking. Using a whiskey like Piehole which comes in flavors like apple pie, cherry pie and pecan pie can bring your pastries to an entire new level. You can also use these to add flavor to your fillings. I add a splash of whiskey or bourbon to my apple dishes and even to things like homemade marshmallows.

So I encourage you to be like me and experiment in the kitchen with alternative liquids because you just might come up with a new winning family recipe.

cider in bag

Time For A Recipe

Now here’s my cider recipe. We’ve picked a ton of apples this year and Susie loves hot caramel ciders….so I thought why buy cider when I can juice and make my own using the sous vide in just 2 short hours? This way I know exactly what’s going in to my cider and also don’t get any extra added sugars.

For this recipe you’ll need a couple pieces of equipment that not everyone is going to have on hand. You’ll need a slow juicer, I found my Omega juicer almost brand new at one of my favorite local thrift stores for a steal at $30, and either a sous vide or a slow cooker, a sous vide cooks quicker with no evaporation while a slow cooker will take almost 3 times longer. Other than that and a few spices you’ll be drinking cider in no time.

Sous Vide Apple Cider
Fool proof apple cider that you make in the sous vide. Make your own cider and enjoy fall.
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  1. 8 cups freshly juiced apples, about 10-15 apples
  2. 2 inches fresh ginger, juiced
  3. 2 cinnamon sticks
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves
  5. 2 star anise
  6. ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  7. ¼ teaspoons allspice berries
  8. ¼ of a whole nutmeg
  9. ½ of an orange sliced into rounds
  1. So after you juice and strain your apples and ginger, place them in a gallon ziploc bag and seal.
  2. Toast all spices in a skillet until fragrant, then add to ziploc bag along with orange slices. Water seal in your sous vide and cook at 122 degrees for about 2 hours. Remove, strain into mason jars and cool on counter before storing in fridge.
  3. If you were going to use a slow cooker, add all ingredients to slow cooker after toasting spices and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Strain into jars and cool on counter before storing in fridge.
Rosie Discovers

 Try Out Some Recipes Using This Technique:

Apple Raspberry Kuchen

Nutcracker Ale Beer Bread

Spiked Dutch Apple Pie Minis

Red Rye Lager Beer Bread



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