I came across a recipe for cider cake recently, and it made me remember previous posts on cooking with beer and with sherry. Why not cooking with cider? Naturally, one can use it as one would use wine, in casserole-type dishes, especially those made from pork, but what else?
If you happen to have a huge surplus of cider, you can make cider vinegar or cider brandy, of course, but these are outside the range of the average householder, methinks. How about the following ideas, if your surplus is more modest?
Stir 2 tablespoonfuls of sifted flour and 6 fresh yolks of egg into 1 quart of cider and 1 quart of water, sweeten, and add a few slices of lemon without seeds, a pinch of salt, and put on the fire in a pot that has been thoroughly cleaned. Stir constantly with a wire egg-beater over a hot fire, and as soon as it boils, pour into a tureen, into which a little powdered mace (outer hull of nutmeg) has been put. The whites of the eggs may be beaten stiff and formed into small dumplings, which are then put on top of the soup and dusted with sugar. If the cover is quickly put on, the dumplings will be cooked before the tureen reaches the table. Serve sugared croutons or sweet biscuits with the soup, which may be varied by taking the whole eggs, instead of the yolk only, and only half the quantity of flour. This will make the soup frothy. In either case, the soup will be delicious.
The Standard Domestic Science Cook Book, Chicago, 1908.
Two pounds of flour, two teacupsful of suet chopped fine, a cupful of raisins or currants. Mix well with cider until it is a stiff batter. Boil two hours. This will be found equal to plum pudding.
Genesee Farmer, Vol 25, 1864
Cider cake is very good, to be baked in small loaves. One pound and a half of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, half a pint of cider, one tea-spoonful of pearlash; spice to your taste. Bake till it turns easily in the pans. I should think about half an hour.
Mrs. Ellis's housekeeping made easy, or, Complete instructor in all branches, by Sarah Stickney Ellis (1843)
Quotation for the Day.
Give me yesterday's Bread, this Day's Flesh, and last Year's Cyder.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) ‘Poor Richard's Almanac’