Äppelmust, and a visit from the Fairy Hobmother

Serves: n/a
Approx cost: n/a
Approx calories (per serving): n/a
Approx preparation and cooking time:  3 hours + 5 days standing time

Adapted/Translated from a recipe at “Gelas Hem och Trädgård (Gela’s Home and Garden) – Äppelmust

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]Greetings all. Before I launch into today’s post I wanted to tell you all about something which happened yesterday, and has had me grinning pretty much ever since. I commented on this post from Nami’s Just One Cookbook last week and didn’t think anything more about it until yesterday when what should I get but an email from the…, wait for it… yes, the Fairy Hobmother herself! For those of you who blog, you may be familiar with this mysterious person – The Fairy Hobmother comes from the land of Appliances Online, an store selling home appliances

Anyway, the Fairy Hobmother told me her mission: “to bring joy and happiness to the world’s bloggers by providing treats for great, hard work in the blogosphere“, and when I received her email I certainly felt both joyful, and happy! €40 to have fun with at Amazon! Thanks so much your Fairyness!

That’s not all though – leave a comment and make a wish to the Fairy Hobmother on this post and you could be visited next! It certainly puts a smile on your face :)

On to today’s post – credit must go here not only to my wife, for finding this recipe, but also to the Swedish blogger Gela for her rather wonderful recipe we’ve finished recently. Gela writes about all sorts of things – gardening, recipes, her home and environment and even needlework/crocheting and knitting – truly well-rounded, and while it may not mean so much to you if you don’t speak Swedish, you can always enjoy her pretty pictures!

For the recipe, I must admit, I was skeptical. It didn’t seem like something that would be as delicious as it is, but I was wrong – and I’m glad I was – because this stuff is delicious! But before I start rambling on about how great it is, maybe I should explain what it actually is first. Äppelmust, pronounced a bit like “Eppel muhst” is, according to Wikipedia, translated as “Apple Juice”. I’m not sure if this is entirely the correct translation, because the production method is fairly different from just pressing and filtering the apples. In any case – trust me on this – it’s very appley (is that a word?) and very delicious.


The type of apples used, naturally, has a massive impact on the final taste, so you want ones with a good taste. We used quite sweet apples which meant the final product ended up being sweet. Next time I’d aim to use something a bit more tart, or perhaps a half/half mix of regular Coxes and maybe something like Granny Smiths. The recipe was also very hard to price. In the end I chose all categories because you could easily pay upwards of €5 for the quantity of apples needed for this recipe, however, many places sell large sacks of the things for a song at certain times of the year. For those of you lucky enough to have an orchard (yes Karen, I’m talking about you!) then this will cost literally cents to make, provided you have all the ingredients (we had to order a special bucket from England (bucket: £9, shipping and handling: £22… ouch).

You’ll also need a whole load of empty bottles. Some people use empty soda bottles, although ideally, glass bottles are best. The 5 jars in the photo below is only about 30% of our final “haul”, so remember this when you’re chucking out your old drink bottles next time, if you’re planning on making this :)

Once you’ve made it, you’ll find it’s most delicious when served cold from the fridge. You’d think something like this would seem like a “summery” drink, but something about it makes it seem very satisfying and autumnal. I guess you could even warm it up, add some liquor, a cinnamon stick, make a little toddy out of it or something, although I didn’t try anything like that. However you decide to drink it, enjoy! :)


Äppelmust ingredients

Scale recipe up or down as required depending on how many apples you have

  • 5 litres Apples (measure them when they’ve been quartered)
  • 6 litres Water
  • 1 tbsp Tartaric Acid
  • 1 tsp Sodium Benzoate

You’ll also need, after 5 days

  • 1 dl Sugar (~0.6 cups) per 1 litre of “Must”

You’ll also need

  • A large bucket, with lid (we used a 33 litre home-brewing fermentation bin)
  • Lots of empty bottles with tops or preserving/mason jars


  1. Start by washing the apples and cutting them into quarters. Measure them in a 1 litre jug (or 2 litre, 5 litre etc :p) and remember how many litres of apple pieces you have. Sling the whole lot into your giant bucket (remember to make sure you’ve washed the bucket out too!).
    Chopping up the apples
  2. Working from the quantity of apples you have, adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly (everything except the sugar) and add them into the bucket. For example, if you had 8 litres of apples, you’d need to add 9.6 litres of water, 1.6 tbsps of Tartaric Acid and 1.6 tsps of Sodium Benzoate (ok, ok, if you end up being less than 100% scientifically accurate, you’re not going suffer a horrible demise, but try and do the best you can!).

    Stir everything well to mix it, seal the bucket and place in a cool place for five days. Try to keep it out of spots of direct sunlight and so forth. Stir the bucket well a couple of times every day. After a couple of days you might think the contents are smelling a bit funky, but towards the end of five days it will really start to smell good.
    All the apples
  3. After five days in the bucket, pull out all the apple pieces and discard (great for the compost heap!) and then start straining the “must” – the liquid that remains. You’ll probably need two people to do this most effectively. We found it best to first pass the must through a fine sieve to get filter out as much sediment as possible. After this, make a second pass through a muslin cloth / cheese cloth, or, if you don’t have one of these, a clean dish cloth will suffice. Simply support the corners and make a well in the centre and slowly pour the liquid through.Filtering the must
  4. Once filtered, measure how much must you have and add in the sugar (1 dl per 1 litre) and whisk well to mix. Wash your bottles thoroughly and allow to drain dry, before pouring the apple must into them. (I tried to buy some bottles, but could only find large jars… pretend that the pictures show beautiful bottles, neatly arranged :p). Put the caps on the bottles and store them in a cool place, out of direct sunlight until you drink them. Like this, they should last for good couple of months, thanks in part to the sugar inside. Enjoy! :)


  1. says

    I saw your facebook post yesterday and I was wondering if the Fairy Hobmother went to your site from your comment on my site….because one of the bloggers who left comment on my site told me she also got a Fairy Hobmother's visit from my site! It's wonderful, isn't it? I was so happy at 2am when I received the email and I couldn't go sleep! lol! It's such a nice gesture from Appliance Online! Thank you Fairy Hobmother!

    Now onto your recipe. I've never canned anything before. I heard it's quite addicting (like Sissi – LOL!). I definitely want to challenge myself one day. I'm curious how this taste like. Must be very special. :-)

    • says

      Hi Nami – I agree, it's a wonderful surprise… I still don't quite believe it but it made me a very happy guy yesterday! :)

      I hope you get a chance to try the recipe – we had a LOT of apples, and we didn't know what to do with them at all until my wife found this post by Gela. As I mentioned, I was a little skeptical… I didn't think just adding some apples and water together (and some sugar later ofc) would be tasty, but it's amazing. It's like drinking a delicious apple juice. Sometimes when I come home from work and I'm thirsty and I'm thinking "hmm, water doesn't quite do it…" I see the jug of this in the fridge and I almost can't stop drinking it, it's so good! 😀

  2. says

    The recepy is superb!! Easy to make.

    I have a translation button on my blog for those who don´t speak Swedish=).

    Have a nice day/Gela

    • says

      Hi Gela, thanks so much for coming to visit my site, and for the wonderful recipe! I hope my readers will be able to try this themselves because it’s really so delicious… and a great way to use apples if you have too many!!

      Have a good afternoon!

  3. says

    What a great recipe and neat story about the Fairy Hobmother, so cool! :) Happy Holidays! I could use some Fairy Hobmother in my life 😉

    • says

      Happy Holidays to you too Jen – alas I need to wait a bit before some "holiday cheer here". Maybe I should start a petition to create some sort of Thanksgiving event in France… to give thanks for… er… the discovery of Camembert in 1791! Yeah, that's something to be thankful for I guess :s

  4. says

    Wow Charles! I don't (didn't) know what Äppelmust is, or what it's used for, but those jars of Äppelmust look great! Do you think you can enlighten me (with some Fairy Hobmother's fairy dust) on how Äppelmust is drunk? It is like any other normal fruit juice, or does it get served in fancy glasses with something in it?

    Congrats on being visited by the fairy 😀 Since I never got coins for my teeth, maybe Fairy Hobmother can paint a brighter picture of how amazing fairies are and pop in for a visit one day 😉 I can bake her some chocolate mousse cake with coffee mascarpone on top. 😀 then post about my experience with her for my 100th post! 😀

    • says

      Hi Fati – I just drink it as I would juice. Simple glass, straight from the refrigerator, really nice. I think you can definitely do more with it – use it as a mixer in cocktails and the like, but it's incredibly refreshing – really delicious!

  5. says

    I've never heard of the fairy hobmother visiting this end of the world … oh, well, I can only hope.

    This is awesome, Charles! The liquid looks so crystal clear and pretty. I love that pinkish, cloudy, dreamy hue. This would be quite a task to make it over here where the weather is so warm all the time and clearing out my whole, entire fridge isn't a sane thing to do either. I'd probably end up with apple vinegar … hmmm … that doesn't sound too bad. Or a bucket of mould … that's bad.

    • says

      Hi Ping – Yeah – if you have a place which is excessively warm it might not work quite so well, although it doesn't need to be especially cold. We put ours in the living room, so regular room temperature, and we have under-floor heating as well so it wouldn't have been that cold! The tartaric acid and sodium benzoate help preserve the apples during the week, so I don't think the mould would grow that fast hopefully 😀

  6. says

    Congratulations Charles! I hope you buy yourself nice Christmas presents!

    This recipe sounds awesome, something perfect for a food geek I often feel like. I love reading about such recipes, looking at your wonderful photos and sometimes even making them!

    Thank you for posting something so unusual! (I thought at first it would be the apple drink my mum used to make: simply boiling apples and sugar in big amounts of water) but it's much more magical.

    Where did you get sodium benzoate? You will laugh, but when I was in Budapest last year I spent half a day in a big supermarket looking for strange food products and I bought several packages of sodium benzoate. My friend's mother explained she used it for preserving food. Now thanks to you I have a precise recipe!

    It looks fantastic and must taste heavenly!

    • says

      Thanks so much Sissi – I do hope you're able to give it a try. As I mentioned, I think I would try with some Granny Smith apples next time because I think the mix of tartness and sweetness they give would be amazing. Both the sodium benzoate and tartaric acid we actually got from Sweden – My wife had a friend who came to visit and we were sure to place an order with her for these. You can see on the packets, they say "Natriumbensoat" and "Vinsyra". To be honest, I've never seen those in France. I will go to Sweden in December – if you wanted to give it a try but couldn't find one or two of the things I can send you some if you'd like?

      • says

        "Both the sodium benzoate and tartaric acid we actually got from Sweden –"

        This reminds of a trip my mother made 20 yrs ago to Yugoslavia and then Romania to visit relatives. She came home with a number of commercially labelled packets of something white in her suitcase which fizzed up and made a huge mess when a bottle of alchohol tucked in among the clothing, including a man's sheepskin vest, cracked during the less than careful handling at the international airport. Luckily it all stayed contained in the suitcase but my mom said it was used in preserves. Could have been tartaric acid, now that I think back but the package was probably labelled in Serbian. Something my mom recognized but never knew what to call in Romanian. :)

  7. says

    Wow Charles! This is a seriously impressive recipe. I have no doubt my kids would love making and drinking this! Mr. N loves anything that involves giant buckets and adding science-like ingredients. And Miss A loves apple juice. :) Looks like a fun thing to do!

    Congrats on your visit from the hobmother. :) It's always so hard to make my wish. My list keeps growing and growing. Right now…a le creuset.

    • says

      Thanks Kristy – alas there are no puffs of smoke and bubbling madness when you add the sodium benzoate and tartaric acid in, but I think it would be a fun thing for kids to make nevertheless. It's especially nice to be able to make something so delicious after I read about the juice industry (how they store the "juice" in air-tight vats for up to 1 year which causes it to have no flavour at all, and before shipping they re-inject flavour using giant bricks of flavour stuff… the same things used in perfume manufacture. Yuck!

  8. says

    Delicious looking! Looks like your wife picked a good recipe :) It's always fun to try new things, and learn new things!

    And a visit from the fairy…. how exciting! I hope you get something awesome! I could only imagine what sort of goodies I could get if she visited… 😉

    • says

      Hi Stefanie, it was really enjoyable… Great thing is, we still have so much left! If the Hobmother visited you I would demand that you buy 1000 cupcake moulds and send out cakes to everyone who reads your blog! 😉

  9. says

    Congrats on being the recipient of a visit from the Fairy Hobmother and another intriguing recipe. I'm amazed at the versatility of your kitchen adventures. :)

  10. says

    Wait.. I got a visit from the Fairy Hobmother too lol. I wasn't sure if it was spam or actually real so I was hesitant to respond to anything. I am still hesitant to be honest. I guess I will just have to respond. So anywho.. You KNOWW I love this recipe :)

    • says

      Yeah, I should think you could probably make a jelly easily – dissolve some gelatin, splash in a bit of white wine, stick it in a mould with some raspberries and blueberries and voilà – a white wine/apple juice fruit jelly! Kind of like kids' party food, but not fod kids… mwahaha!

  11. says

    Hi Charles, The Hob Fairy sounds like a wonderful like thing and she was very generous. Buy yourself something extra nice. I'm very impressed with your beverage…good job. I wish you could be here when all the apples are on the trees and we press cider. I have several hundred bottles of hard cider in my cellar and we could do a cider tasting. Your applemust will have an alcohol content to it…not much but some from your five days of fermentation. The longer you leave the apples in the bucket the higher the alcohol content. You can buy a little gauge to keep track.

    • says

      Thanks Karen – Gosh, I can't imagine having so many apples as I guess you do – how long does it take to make all the cider? Do you drink it all yourselves or give it away / sell it?

      I guess it does have an alcoholic content, though very low – there's definitely no taste of alcohol there, and I'm usually pretty good and discerning slight notes of alcohol in the background. Also, no sugar is added in at the beginning so they only have their own fructose as "fuel" so to speak. I used to make wine when I lived in England – I have so much equipment there… demi-johns, buckets, gauges, books, corking machines… it's all sitting unloved in my parents' garage :(

      • says

        Your alcohol content won't be much because of all the water but it is there. There is never any sugar added to hard cider, just natural fermentation from the juice itself. As for as how many apples we have, I can only say that a mature tree on average can have around 500 apples in a good season and we have 300 trees. One bushel of apples makes between 2 and 3 gallons of juice.

        • says

          Oh for sure – I'd have to drink a heck of a lot to get merry though 😀

          I had to look up bushels – US measurement of dry volume apparently – 35.something litres. Today I learned…! Wow, I just did the maths and if all your trees were to yield 500 apples you'd end up with 150,000 apples. Of course, I'm guessing some aren't fully mature but yowzers, that's a LOT of apples. I guess you must eat a lot of apple pies round your house, washed down with plenty of cider! Well… sounds good to me 😀

  12. says

    Congrats Charles! How fun to receive a lucky email like that!! I'm really impressed with this recipe! I wish I had access to apple trees in Florida!!

    • says

      Thanks Linda! Do they not have Apple trees in Florida? Maybe a silly question :/ I know that it's big on oranges, but I never knew that apples didn't grow there… that's too bad :(

  13. says

    Congratulations on your good fortune, Charles. I am so glad that you were chosen by the Fairy Hobmother! What a lovely treat, right before Christmas.

    I always thought Äppelmust was the left over from making cider; a thicker and slightly less alcoholic juice. But this one looks even better. You must have a huge pantry Charles, even though you have a smallish kitchen!

    • says

      Hi Eva – Thanks a lot! You know, you're right… "Must" itself, is indeed what you say, but the Swedes use it a little differently. They have a drink called "Julmust" (Christmas must) – Wikipedia says that "must" is a juice, but I refuse to use that word. It's not a juice, especially not the Julmust (which is more like a spicy cola drink!). What I do know though is it's really good – Definitely worth a try if you've ever in a situation where you can!

  14. says

    Appley autumnal goodness! I love the idea of making your own apple juice – refreshing and comforting at the same time, and you have complete control over the elements going in – including the choice of apples, which is ideal. Charles, I absolutely love the linen that you have been featuring in your photos. You see it well in your second photo – cloth and napkin – such a *gorgeous* colour and texture (the crinkles are great), and what a match with your juice filled bottles… stunning!

    p.s. can't stop looking at my new print… my husband loves it too!

    • says

      Thanks Kelly! Definitely – did you see what I wrote to Kristy above, about the article I read about the juice industry? Here's the article I found – yuck, I haven't bought juice since reading that!

      I'm so pleased you like the linen, thought slightly ashamed – It's just something I bought from Ikea, specifically for my food photography in fact, and the crinkles… well, I spilled potato salad over it one day and had to wash it and then I was too lazy to iron it (too lazy for the last 4 months :p) but I'm so glad that it actually looks good 😀 I'll keep it as it is in that case 😀

      So glad you like the print! :)

  15. says

    The apple must looks fantastic, I have loads of apple and was wondering what to do with them. This certainly looks very interesting to try out. Glad you were the luck visitor of Fairy Gob mother. Congrats.

  16. says

    What a delicious apple drink! I'm going to bookmark it and next fall when the apples come in, give it a go. I love processes like this because they always yield such marvelous results! Great pics! Congrats on you fairy Hobmother visit! I hope she visits me someday. :) Take care.

    • says

      Thanks so much mjskit – I hope you're able to give it a try, it's so delicious and as you say, the results are so fun and satisfying – such rosy colours :)

  17. says

    You're so lucky that the Fairy Hobmother visited you!! I love Amazon and I am actually a very good Amazon customer, I don't know how many times per year I order something from Amazon ;).

    I've never heard of Äppelmust before, but the recipe sounds so refreshing!

    • says

      Thanks Cooking Gallery! You should definitely give it a try if you ever have a surplus of apples :) I love Amazon too – they sell just about everything. I even noticed they sell my beloved "Marmite" spread on Amazon.co.uk. I just had 4 big jars delivered to spread on my toast!

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