Äppelmust, and a visit from the Fairy Hobmother
Approx cost: n/a
Approx calories (per serving): n/a
Approx preparation and cooking time: 3 hours + 5 days standing time
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, such as this oven, and believe me – if my kitchen weren’t so darn shoe-box-sized, I’d so be getting something like this!
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!
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
- 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!).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!