Here's the best recipe for apple cider. And this is a raw food. In other words, it is chock full of all the good stuff! No pasteurization.
Apple cider is not easy to make. It takes a small army to do this right. One would think there was nothing to it. Ha!
A single ingredient anything (meal, dessert, beverage, etc) is one of those most complicated things to make right because if that one ingredient isn't outstanding then the labor, effort, and enjoyment is worthless. Don't believe me? Go ask Alice. I ate at Chez Panisse once and they served me a perfectly sweet peach for dessert – nothing else! And I still remember it.
Recipe: plant apple seeds in good soil, grow apple orchard if you're planning on making enough juice to supply a county (easy?), nuture the trees and stay away from chemical sprays.
At Echo Valley Farm the apple trees are over one hundred years old and no one knows exactly what variety they are. We do know they are tart sweet and make killer tangy juice.
When the apples are at the hight of ripeness round up everyone in town to shake trees, pick, harvest, stand on ladders and grab. Core apples. Then get two insanely strong farmers to hand press them the old fashioned way.
This is not a job for wimps. This is a two day upper body work-out. (blow-out, might be a more accurate description.)
Strain out the yellow jackets that have dive bombed into the juice who are sugar drunk and a little cranky.
Pour into 200 pint jars. Freeze. Take out jars in the morning before the 200 guests arrive for lunch and let them partially thaw so they are slushy.
Watch men, women, and children bring jars to mouth holding carefully with two hands.
Listen for lip smacking and satisfaction sounds.
Pescadero grown, Echo Valley Farm picked and pressed.
It's the 'simple' things in life that bring so much joy.
(Thank you Lars for capturing the day)