Refreshing Apple Cider
Early harvest apples are now available as PYO and in our Farm Market, and the new cider season has begun!
Apple cider is the beverage made from unsweetened unfiltered pressed apples! At Indian Ladder Farms cider is made from freshly picked apples with surface blemishes that affect the appearance of the fruit but not the taste or freshness. We do not use apples that have fallen on the orchard floor in order to maintain the purity of the cider. Different varieties are blended together to achieve the best flavor. The apples are washed and brushed, then put through a grinder that mashes them into a pulp. The pulp is then spread in a thick layer on a rack lined with heavy cloth. The pulp is wrapped in the cloth and topped with another rack. The cloth helps to keep the pulp from leaking out as it is being pressed. The wrapping process is repeated until a stack approximately ten high is formed. The stack is then pressed until all the juice has been squeezed from the pulp. The juice runs out through the cider cloths and is collected in a vat beneath the press, then pumped into a refrigerated holding tank. From the holding tanks, the cider is run through the UV pasteurization machine which purifies the cider using ultra-violet light. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers this method to be a safe alternative to pasteurization without the change of taste caused by heat. After the UV treatment, the cider is bottled for sale and enjoyment. Our cider will keep for approximately 2-3 weeks from bottling under refrigeration of 34* or less. It should be treated as you would a dairy product. It may also be frozen for longer storage. Difference between cider and juice: Everyone wants to know: “What is the difference between cider and juice?” They both start out as pressed apples; cider is the raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove the fiber or pulp. Apple juice has been filtered to remove solids, pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer, and sometimes water and other ingredients are added to maintain flavor and clarity before it is vacuum sealed to extend the shelf life. Nutrition: A 6 ounce glass of cider has only 87 calories and like other juices contains no cholesterol. It does contain pectin however, and that has been shown to help keep serum cholesterol levels down. A new University of California-Davis Medical Center study shows that daily consumption of 12 ounces of apple cider or apple juice can reduce the risk of heart disease. And the benefits don’t stop there. A recent Cornell University study found that the antioxidants in apples also inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour from Cornell says that fresh apple cider is not highly filtered like typical apple juice. Cider retains much of the natural beneficial elements of a whole fresh apple. These natural elements come from antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have anti-cancer properties.