Every Fall, it’s on my list to go apple picking in an apple orchard. Living in the city, that means we need to travel out to the suburbs to find a farm, so it’s not the easiest thing to do on a whim. Every Fall I get excited about the prospect of apple picking, and every year, by the time I get my act together, we’ve missed apple season.
This year, I was determined not to miss apple season. I researched a few farms and decided on one that wasn’t too far away and picked a sunny Saturday to make the drive. We arrived at the farm, saw the apple trees in the distance, and walked over to the farmer to say hello. Hilariously, the farmer told us that their farm produced no apples this year! Something about their bees and nothing got pollinated. (This is actually not hilarious, and is rather worrisome – we’ve been watching documentaries about the vanishing of the bees.)
So no apple picking for me again this year! Instead, we drove to the farmer’s market and picked our apples from the apple bins, and I pretended we were in a lovely orchard instead. We brought home bags of Jonagold, Spartan, and Macintosh apples.
I have fond memories of going to the pumpkin patch as a child and drinking the farm’s homemade hot apple cider, and so I wanted to re-create my own. There’s just something about hot apple cider that is so cozy! Hot apple juice bubbling with cinnamon sticks and cloves fills your home with such a wonderful aroma.
Now that we have the juicer of my dreams, I was able to use homemade apple juice in this recipe, but you can substitute with store-bought apple juice if needed. I would advise buying high-quality organic apple juice, as that will provide the most rustic flavour. This recipe serves 4, but feel free to double it, or halve it, depending on your needs.
- 4 cups apple juice (I used homemade apple juice that I juiced myself, but you can also use high-quality store-bought apple juice)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- slice of lemon
- thin apple slices, for garnish
- In a medium-size pot over medium-low heat, add all ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Strain (or just pick out the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon) before serving. Garnish with thin apple slices or extra cinnamon sticks.