Boiled Apple Cider (aka Apple Cider Syrup) takes everything yummy about apple cider and concentrates it to a thick syrup. It's easy to make, and gives you the secret ingredient you need to take all your apple treats to the next level of flavor!
Why this recipe works
- Making apple cider syrup is just boiling apple cider until it thickens
- You can flavor boiled cider with additions like cinnamon, vanilla, or orange zest
- There are lots of ways to use apple syrup
Autumn is my favorite season, especially in the culinary sense (the other senses also…I love New England fall foliage!). No other season is so identified with flavor.
(Yes, we get the picture).
Apple pies practically scream autumn. All those baking spices mixed with the wonderfully sweet tart taste of apples. But can you make apple pie even better? That's a big yes, if you use a certain secret ingredient…Boiled Apple Cider (aka Apple Cider Syrup).
What you need
You don't need any special ingredients to make a boiled cider recipe. Just pure fresh apple cider, preferably organic.
Keep it plain, or add a flavoring like a cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, orange zest, or (my favorite) a splash or whisky or rum to your cider at the beginning of the simmering process.
How to make boiled cider at home
So how do you make apple cider syrup? It's just as easy as it sounds. Just know that it's going to take a few hours to make it, so plan accordingly.
Step 1: Transfer cider to a pot
Take fresh, unfiltered apple cider and pour it into a heavy pot along with your preferred flavorings (photo 1).
After bringing the cider to a boil, reduce the heat to keep the cider at a simmer. You should see small bubbles.
Step 2: Monitor the cider
One way to measure your progress is to use a skewer to see how far down the cider has evaporated (photo 2). When it's done, the volume will be about ⅛th its original height.
Here's the boiled cider after 2 and 3 hours of simmering (photo 3):
Step 3: Check for doneness
The cider will be ready when you stir it and dark copper-colored bubbles form, covering the entire surface (photo 4). If you were to smear a small amount on a plate, it will have the consistency of warm, runny honey.
Boiled apple cider thickens as it cools, so don't over-cook it. Once you've achieved the right consistency, remove it from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar to remove any impurities.
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions you might have...
It should keep more or less indefinitely when stored in the refrigerator.
Boiling cider evaporates the water in much the same way as how maple syrup is made, and the final product will be ⅛ of the original volume. So, a ½ gallon of fresh cider will give you about 1 cup of apple syrup and will take about 3 to 4 hours to make, while a gallon will give your about 2 cups and will take 5 to 6 hours.
Uses for boiled apple cider
There are so many ways that you can use boiled cider.
Try putting just ¼ cup into your favorite recipe for apple pie. Your friends and family won’t know how you managed to pack so much flavor into a pie crust!
Beyond apple pies, there are so many ways to use apple syrup. Here are some examples:
- Drizzle it onto cakes, ice cream, pancakes, or oatmeal (like you would maple syrup)
- Make a sweet glaze with powdered sugar to drizzle onto muffins or scones
- Make a savory glaze with whole grain mustard to brush on chicken or meat before and after roasting
- Even mix it with water to reconstitute it back into cider. Just add 1 tablespoon boiled cider to ¾ cup water, hot or cold
I’m telling you, making boiled apple cider is going to take your fall baking to the next level!
Lots of flavor for very little effort
Do yourself a favor on a crisp, fall day…boil down some apple cider to have on hand as your secret fall flavor enhancer. Not only will you take the flavor of your favorite apple dishes to the next level, you’ll perfume your home with the wonderful scent of apples.
Better still, give as a gift. It's a thoughtful way of sharing fall with friends and family. Be sure to include some how-to-use-it suggestions and recipes. Feel free to use my suggestions above!
I’m busy planning my fall baking agenda, and I’m sure this delicious secret ingredient will be well utilized!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
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Easy Homemade Boiled Apple Cider Syrup
- 4-quart heavy saucepan
- ½ gallon apple cider, unfiltered, organic if possible
- flavorings, as desired, see Recipe Notes
- In a large heavy pot, bring the apple cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to keep the cider at a simmer. You should see small bubbles.
- Using a skewer, mark the level of the cider. Continue to mark the level on the skewer each hour.
- Simmer the cider for about 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. During the last hour of simmering, stir every 15 minutes (see Recipe Notes).
- The cider will be ready when you stir it and dark copper-colored bubbles form, covering the entire surface. You can also check by using your skewer...the cider will boil down to about ⅛ of its original volume. Finally, if you smear a small amount on a plate, it should have the consistency of warm, runny honey. The cider will thicken as it cools, so don't over-cook it.
- Once you've achieved the right consistency, remove the boiled cider from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar to remove any impurities. You should have about 1 cup of boiled cider.
- Let the jar cool to room temperature, then cover and store in the refrigerator. It should keep indefinitely.