Cuisine - - GUEST CHEF -

I love to col­lect ap­ples and in au­tumn there are so many wild trees here – the her­itage va­ri­eties are small and ev­ery tree, or some­times ev­ery ap­ple, looks and tastes dif­fer­ent. So with an abun­dance of spray-free skins and cores I started to make ap­ple cider vine­gar. I found this drink in win­ter when I was mak­ing count­less lemon-gin­ger-hon­eys for a stuffy nose and I love it. Now, even my tod­dler will drink it.

ap­ple scraps

1 ta­ble­spoon cane su­gar

1 cup fil­tered or boiled and cooled wa­ter, plus ex­tra if needed

Clean a 1 litre jar well and let it air dry.

Fill the jar ¾ full of ap­ple scraps. If you are us­ing whole ap­ples, roughly chop them up be­fore you put them in the jar.

Dis­solve 1 ta­ble­spoon cane su­gar into 1 cup of wa­ter. Pour the su­gar wa­ter over the ap­ples un­til they are com­pletely sub­merged. Add more wa­ter if needed to make sure the ap­ples are cov­ered. Weigh down the ap­ples with a plas­tic bag filled with wa­ter. Any ap­ples that are ex­posed to the air could grow mould.

Cover with cheese­cloth or a cof­fee fil­ter and se­cure with a rub­ber band. Store in a dark place at room tem­per­a­ture (I put mine in the pantry.) Leave it for ap­prox­i­mately 3 weeks, check­ing on it ev­ery few days to make sure the ap­ples are stay­ing un­der the wa­ter and to make sure no mould is grow­ing.

Af­ter 3 weeks, it will still smell fairly sweet. Strain the ap­ple pieces out and re­turn the liq­uid to the jar. Com­post the scraps.

Re-cover and put the jar back in a dark spot for an­other 3-4 weeks, stir­ring ev­ery few days.

When it has reached the tart­ness you like, you can put a lid on it or trans­fer it to a dif­fer­ent jar with a lid and start us­ing it.

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