I think I’ve said before that one of the things I really love about living here is the availability of such great juices. You can get a “mocktail” that is out of this world. Lemon/mint juice anyone? Fresh pineapple and watermelon spritzer? Yes please! Oh, I get off subject. My point is that most juices are fresh tasting, including apple juice. Even the bottled stuff tastes like freshly juiced apples. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to push Mott’s off on my kids again.
One of my favorite things about fall is when the apple cider starts appearing on shelves. Well, I haven’t seen any here yet, but I figured I could make my own and it would probably be better than any mass-produced-store-bought-variety with the great quality of the apple juice here. And it was.
My husband and I sipped this while trimming our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, as is our tradition. We decided to bite the bullet this year and buy our first
fake real-pine-challenged tree. Even though I miss the smell of a real tree, it is nice not to have to water/vacuum everyday. I must say, it looks pretty real too (especially after a few boozy ciders!)
Boozy Mulled Apple Cider
6 cups apple juice (I would buy the organic stuff, since it usually tastes more like apple and has less “fillers”)
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup whisky (we used Johnny Walker, but booze is totally optional. It was really good without too.)
Combine everything except for the booze in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Cook for 6 hours in a slow cooker on low, or 1 hour in a pressure cooker on high. Strain the liquid. To serve, put 2-3 oz at the bottom of a mug. Top with the cider and enjoy!
Our pool is finally finished about a month late (don’t get me started) so my husband wants to have a pool party to celebrate. The weather is cooling down a bit here, but it’s still close to 90 degrees at 9 am. So with a nod to “cooler” fall temperatures, while still keeping in mind that it’s hot, I thought I’d pull out my ice cream maker and make some caramel apple frozen yogurt. But I should tell you that I’m not a big fan of caramel apples. I hate that the caramel get stuck in your teeth and after you’ve eaten all of the sugary stuff of the outside, all you’re left with is a boring apple on a stick. Oh, and last fall when my husband tried to make caramel apples with the kids (who were one and two at the time) it ended up being a big mess that no one wanted to eat. Those apples sat in my ‘fridge for weeks.
This time around, I thought frozen yogurt would be a healthy, dentist friendly way for everyone to enjoy an inherently fall treat. I’ve had this idea in my head for weeks for our pool party (did I mention it was supposed to be done over a month ago?!?) and I was so happy with the way it turned out. It really tastes like a caramel apple. I had a recipe I scribbled down on a piece of paper long ago for a brown sugar caramel sauce that tastes like caramel, but isn’t as chewy. I can’t remember what I first used it for, but I remember thinking that the recipe was crappy because the caramel is thinner than most dipping caramel sauces. However, for this recipe, because the frozen yogurt is so delicate, it worked perfectly. That and I didn’t have any granulated sugar, the last place I went grocery shopping was out. Yes, you read that right; they were out of sugar and didn’t know when they would be getting more.
Anyway, my husband plans on playing grill master all weekend, but of course, he can’t be the only one to make something. I’m sure at some point during the weekend I’ll push him a side so I can play on the grill for a while, but I’m going to try to play nice and let him cook for me. Hopefully he will enjoy this sweet treat after sweating over the hot grill!
Caramel Apple Frozen Yogurt
4 cups apple juice (use organic, it tends to have a stronger apple flavor)
250 g low fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup boiling water
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk (I used 2% for a thinner sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
To make the frozen yogurt: Combine apple juice and Greek yogurt in an ice cream maker. Follow manufacturer instructions. Freeze for an additional hour to firm yogurt.
While the yogurt is churning, make the caramel sauce. Mix the sugar and flour in a saucepan until combined. Pour in boiling water and salt. Stir over medium high heat for 7-8 minutes, or until sugar mixture is thick, being careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat and stir in milk and butter until combined. Cool to room temperature.
To assemble the caramel apple yogurt: If using, add nuts to the yogurt. Swirl in 2/3 of the caramel sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.