Mulled Cider With Calvados & Spicy Baked Apples

It’s been chilly here – in fact, it was ten degrees below last night! At times like these it’s nice to have something to keep us warm inside – you’ve probably tried mulled wine (red wine, sugar and a sachet of spices heated and drunk warm) but have you ever had hot mulled cider?

Hot and spicy, mulled cider is a great alternative to the usual winter warmers. It makes a perfect drink on return from a walk in the snow, to sip in front of a crackling log fire on a cold winter’s night, or curled up on the sofa in front of the telly – any excuse, really! And unlike other winter drinks such as mulled wine, eggnog or rum toddy, it needs no added sugar unless you have a sweet tooth.

Here’s the recipe – go on, enjoy!  And while you’re on, why not try super-quick, easy-to-make spicy baked apples?

Mulled Cider With Calvados

Ingredients (makes about a litre)

  • Half litre dry cider
  • 125ml calvados (apple brandy)
  • Half litre apple juice
  • Thinly pared rind of one half lemon
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 6 cloves

Directions

  1. Put the cider and apple juice in a large pan, together with the lemon rind, cinnamon and cloves.
  2. Bring to simmer, without allowing the mixture to boil, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the calvados.
  4. Sieve or otherwise discard the cloves, cinnamon and lemon rind.
  5. Taste, adding a little extra sugar if you think it needs it.
  6. Serve in heat resistant glasses or cups.

Spicy-baked Apples

What about spicy-baked apples as a quick and easy accompaniment for supper?

For Two:

  • 2 apples
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons dry cider

Directions

  1. Core the apples.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  3. Spoon the sugar mixture into the apples and pour cider over.
  4. Place the apples in a deep casserole dish and cover.
  5. Microwave for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes or until tender.
  6. Let the apples sit for a couple minutes before serving.

To serve, top the apples with cream or pour over some mulled cider.

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