PRINCETON, NJ — Terhune Orchards in Princeton, a destination farm known for its pick-your-own apples, pumpkins and overall fall family fun, knows a thing or two about apple cider. The Mount family has been producing fresh-pressed cider with no additives for over 45 years.
They use a blend of apple varieties to make their cider, but Staymen Winesap are the hero because of their versatility. Performing a delicious tango of tart and sweet, these apples hold their flavor long after they are picked off the tree, lasting about 6 month in the fridge.
“We are the only farm in New Jersey to have controlled atmosphere cold storage,” said Reuwai Mount Hanewald. The method allows the farm to produce apple cider year-round.
Apple cider, both hot and cold, is a crowd favorite this time of year. But there are other ways you can incorporate it into cooking and baking this season to really spice things up. Here are three recipes that Terhune Orchards shared with us:
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
1 butternut squash
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 leeks, well washed and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple cider
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place in a roasting pan, cover with foil and roast 35-40 minutes at 425°F until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven, let cool and then scoop out the filling from the skin, discarding the rind.
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, celery and carrots. Sauté until the leeks are tender and very fragrant. Add the roasted squash, apples, stock, cider and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, partially covered, over low heat, about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to the soup pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This will fill your house with the most fantastic aroma!
1 gallon of apple cider
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
6 thin lemon slices
Tie spices together in cheesecloth (or just purchase a bag of mulling spices from Terhune Orchards).
In a large pot, combine the cider and spices. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the spices and add the lemon slices. Serve hot.
12 large apples
Core and quarter 12 large apples. (You need not peel the apples. Cooking them with the skins on add more trace vitamins to your applesauce.)
Place apples in a deep saucepan. Add enough Terhune Orchards Apple Cider to cover the bottom of the pan 1” or so. Cover the pan with a lid. Cook over medium heat until the apples are soft.
Put the softened apples through the food mill or sieve.*
If your sauce seems too watery, cook it down a bit; if it is too thick, add more cider. If you like, add a bit of ground cinnamon. This should make 2 quarts of applesauce.
*If you don’t have a food mill or sieve, peel the apples before cooking them and stir them vigorously once they are soft.
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