Welcome back to everything apples. Today we bring you Apple Brandy On A Budget and we tell you what to do with all those apple scraps. Don’t throw them out!!!!! Let’s get right to it.
I don’t know who decided that apple brandy would be trendy this year, but they did the damn thing. I see it as an ingredient in cocktail recipes quite often. So I decided to make my own using a recipe I adapted from Taste of Home. Apple Brandy is not an exact science. Different people use different proportions of ingredients. I say go with your taste buds on this one. Add less sugar if you aren’t as into sweets (I halved the amount they asked for). Add more spice if you like more spice. You really can’t mess this up and I promise that people will be impressed. Here’s what I did:
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 4 pounds of apples, sliced
- 1 liter of (cheap) brandy (maybe a bit more)
- 3 cloves (or maybe a few more)
- 1 cinnamon stick (maybe 2 if you are into that spice)
- Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan to create a simple syrup. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Place apples in a large glass container, or crock. Or a mason jar and small crock if that’s all you have on hand like me. You could even use a big plastic jug, or any container that’s big enough and has a lid, but plastic always makes me nervous for some reason. Use at your own risk.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Cover with a lid.
- Let it sit for the next two weeks, stirring once a week or more.
- Strain mixture, and transfer to desired vessel. Add an additional cinnamon stick and a few cloves.
- Eat the brandy soaked apples. DON’T drive.
Apple Scrap Vinegar
And last but not least of the apple products, we come to the ultimate Earth Momma move. Save those apple scraps my friends, because apparently, if you mix them with honey and water it will magically turn into vinegar.
- About 1 lb of apple scraps (organic)
- 3 tbsp of honey (or sugar)
- Three cups of filtered or non-chlorinated water (this is a deal breaker – you need to buy this if there is a chance that your tap water has chlorine – it kills the natural yeast on the apple skins or something)
- Heat water and honey or sugar until honey or sugar is dissolved
- Put apple scraps in a ceramic or glass vessel (no lid needed)
- Pour water/honey mixture over apple scraps
- Cover with a towel
- Let sit for two weeks stirring vigorously daily (at about the week one mark, my concoction began to smell strong and yeasty – don’t be alarmed – nature is at work – the mixture should also bubble like in the above photo)
- Strain liquid out and discard scraps
- Let the liquid sit in the same vessel covered by a towel for another week. Over the course of this week the concoction will turn tangier and tangier. After about seven days it will be vinegar! Mine isn’t as acidic as the commercial stuff, but it tastes great! In the future I may let is sit out a bit longer to see if that causes it to become more acidic.
- Bottle that baby, and use in a variety of ways. I use apple cider vinegar as a hair cleanser, a facial toner and in salads. You can also take a shot of it daily. They say it’s healthy.
Design Sponge’s Project Sip highlighted a charming cocktail named Apple Thyme. I finally got to use my apple brandy while hanging out at Danielle’s house (of pumpkin carving fame). We were taken aback by how much we loved this cocktail. We kinda only want to drink this for the rest of winter. We got to use High West Campfire whisky which added a smoky element. The whiskey or scotch is up to you, but do yourself a favor and try this drink out as soon as possible.
- 1 1/2 oz of whisky or scotch
- 1 1/2 oz of apple brandy
- 3/4 oz of thyme simple syrup
- Mix 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme in a saucepan until dissolved. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat off. Let sit for 10 min. Use!
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Mix ingredients in a shaker and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of apple and a fresh thyme sprig. Snuggle.