Last year we had a massive haul of apples from next door's garden, so I googled recipes for apples and came across an apple brandy recipe, according to another instructables member BentSticks, it is similar to "apple pie, a common moonshine cocktail" in America. Now I am not a major fan of brandy, it's okay on a cold night or when I have a cold, but this recipe makes brandy taste gorgeous, be aware it disappears fast, this was the most favoured and coveted homemade present from last year and I have been instructed to make it again and lots of it! Once the brandy you will be left with the apple mixture, I hate wastage so I added my strain fruit to the Christmas pudding mixture and it was the best Christmas pudding my family have ever made, but it would also be perfect to add to cakes or heated up and eaten with ice cream.
I got this recipe somewhere off the almighty internet but tweaked it to my own tastes, I like sweet things but the original recipe was too sweet for me, so the main thing I changed was the amount of sugar, so it is a good idea to think about how big your sweet tooth is before trying this. Also the amount of dry white wine you use is based on how sweet you like it, the white takes the sugary edge off. I also apologise for the lack of pictures, I forgot to use my camera whilst making it, I shall however, add pictures as it does its thing over the months.
Step 1: Picking Your Apples
Quick note about going out to pick apples, make sure you are not pinching them, nobody likes being chased by farmers (my childhood in a nut shell). So you want red apples, I suppose you could use cooking apples but you would need much more sugar, it is always a good idea to make a taste first so you know the sweetness of the apples.
Anyway, they are best picked from the tree, but I would recommend having a look at the fallen apples just to see if there are any good ones, some have minimal damage from wasps etc. and that part of the apple can be cut off. Also warning, there will always be better apples just out of your reach, it is the way of the world, if you can't get them they become very tempting, be careful it is very easy to overstretch and hurt yourself. If you really don't want to be beaten by your height, get an apple picker.
Once you have your apples I like to submerge them in water for about 20 minutes just so any bugs or worms come out without you being surprised by them later, bleurg!
Step 2: Ingredients
18oz peeled and chopped red apples,
3 cinnamon sticks (or if you're like me and don't have sticks, just use 2 heaped teaspoons of cinnamon),
2 tbsp (30ml) water,
10oz (282 grams) sugar (I use white but you can use brown sugar for a more caramelized version but I would recommend using only about 8-9oz of it because it is sweeter),
40cl -70cl dry white wine (as cheap as you like),
2.5 litre Mason jar,
Muslin cloth (or equivalent),
Bottles or jars whatever you want to use to contain the final form.
Step 3: Getting Down to It...
Place the chopped apples, the cinnamon sticks or powder and the water in a saucepan, pop the lid on and cooked over a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the sugar into the apple mixture and stir until the sugar is dissolved, it's a good idea to put half the sugar in to begin with and taste, the wine will counteract the sugar to a certain extent but do it to your taste). Then set aside the mixture to cool.
Get your container (I use a mason jar) and add the cooled mixture, add the brandy and wine and seal the container. Shake the container to mix and put it in a dark, cool area.
Every three days give the container a good shake. Wait three weeks then spoon the fruit mixture with a slotted spoon then strain the fruit through a funnel lined with muslin. Put the liquid back in the container and put it in a dark, cool area.
Again, every three days shake, after three weeks strain again through the funnel lined with muslin. Put the liquid back in the container and place in a dark, cool place for two weeks to allow for the sediment to settle then strain once more through the muslin. Last thing is to bottle the apple brandy and label.
I recommend using the apple mixture that you drain from the brandy in cakes, or as a desert
, or just freeze until you can think of something to use it in.