|the Mayors Pears|
Christmas is coming (in case you hadn’t noticed) and I decided to turn our surplus Pears into scrumptious Perry! First I had to dig out the cider press, which I had not thought we would use again this year.
|Looks Messy but Tastes Delicious|
Then we smashed them to tiny pieces in a bucket, using a branch of a tree and squeezed out all the precious juice. I gave the children a taste of the plain juice but they were not overly keen and preferring the gallons of apple juice that we have stashed away. So the obvious thing was to get it fermenting.
|Pearly Pear Juice|
Pear Juice ferments very vigorously, so I did it in a bucket and then transferred it to a demi-jon once it had calmed down a bit. A month or so later it finished bubbling, cleared beautifully and tasted remarkably drinkable, so I bottled it up.
At the same time I decided to make some Mulled Cider and Wine, in readiness for the Xmas season. I always find that a simple recipe is best for these things. Here is what I use…
- Cider or Wine (home-made of course)
- 1 x Nutmeg
- 1 x Stick of Cinnamon
- 6 x Cloves
- 1 x Star Anise
The wine/cider is placed into a large saucepan with the spices and gently heated to simmering. Do not allow it to boil, unless you want to drive off the alcohol. By this time the whole house takes on a very Christmassy aroma.
|Home Made Drink|
After 20 mins turn down the heat and leave the mixture for an hour or so then re-heat and strain off the herbs and spices and bottle. The drink can then be heated up again prior to serving; you can add a few white almonds and raisins as an extra treat.
|Elderberry Port: 2011 a Good Vintage|
I processed my Cider first and then reused the soggy spices on some of last year’s Elderberry Port. I stored the mulled alcohol in Kilner jars. The Cider proved very popular at our first festive get-together.