HOT SPICED CIDER WITH BUTTERED APPLES
A glass of something warm and spicy goes very well with warmed mince pies during the party season – even though we no longer seem to greet guests rubbing frosty fingers and shaking snow off their boots!
First, using a small knife, make a small slit around the ‘waist’ of each apple, then rub each one with butter.
Place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes – they should be softened but not floppy, so test them with a skewer. Put all the other ingredients into a large saucepan and heat the mixture, stirring quite often and adding the apples halfway through. Don’t let it come right up to the boil, but you do need to serve it very hot.
When you’re ready to serve the spiced cider, pour it into a large warmed bowl or jug and then ladle into glass mugs with handles (you can strain it to remove the spices before serving if you like).
24 whole cloves
8 cinnamon sticks
18 allspice berries
1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
4 pints (2.25 litres) still, dry cider
8 small Cox’s apples
2 oz (50 g) butter
8 oz (225 g) soft brown sugar
juice 2 oranges
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375F (190C).
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