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Lynda Hallinan's recipe - Apple cider - 20 March


Making apple cider is dead easy. You need nothing more than a bucket, some cheesecloth and some plastic bottles.

- 1.5kg frozen cooking apples (mix with crabapples if you're using sweet apples from the supermarket)
- 5.7 litres of water
- 1kg white sugar
- 3 juicy lemons - juice and zest

Note: you dont need to add yeast. There's enough yeast on the apple skins and floating in the air at this time of the year.

Freeze the apples for three days in closed plastic bags in the freezer. Wipe the defrosted apples, cut into pieces and whizz up in your blender. Dont peel or core the apples put it all in. Add water as you blend the apples to pulp them all. Place the apple pulp and the rest of the water in a large bucket. Cover with a tea towel. Leave for 7 days, stirring well night and morning. Then strain the apple pulp through cheesecloth, reserving the juice. Discard the pulp. Return the juice to the bucket, add sugar, grated lemon rind and strained lemon juice. Leave for 48 hours. Strain and bottle in recycled plastic drink bottles. Drink after one week as sparkling apple juice, or leave to ferment fully. After a few months it will turn from cloudy to clear. Watch out though: its very explosive.


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