Before you get your hopes up, there is not an actual Ugly Apple Cider Company, sorry. However, this is the affectionate name that my family has decided to give their home made hard apple cider. Does a better name exist? I think not.
I spent part of a Fall (yes, this has been drafted for quite some time) Sunday afternoon helping cut, dice, and blend wild apples that grow somewhere on my parents land (I say “somewhere” because I was wearing nice shoes and declined a muddy visit to the tree). I can’t tell you anything about the apples except they are small, and…ugly. They are malformed and while they taste great, they are the ugliest apples that are still edible that you’ll ever see.
My dad borrowed an apple press from some close family friends (thanks Tawni & David!!) and those same friends pitched in to make some cider. They had already started when I arrived, but we still worked on the apples for a few hours. The recipe my dad is following (I don’t have this but will get from him) requires three gallons of cider, and those hours of work produced just enough to make the minimum. It was fun to chat and visit with family, but it was a slow process (I think I will stick with wine making).
First the apples soaked in water, that part was easy. Then the apples were cored, sliced, and diced. Doing that isn’t hard, but after your first 50 or so apples it gets old. Then the apples were blended and put through the apple press. the apple press, of course, presses the apples and squeezes the juice out, which is strained through a cheese cloth into a container. The process itself is quite simple, But it takes a lot of apples just to get to three gallons.
The fermentation process has now started and been going for a few weeks for the Ugly Apple cider. This is my dad’s first go at making hard cider, so I’m interested in seeing how the process goes. The plan is to bottle, and taste, very soon. When I update I’ll post the recipe! In the meantime, you’ll have to wait (and/or Google another recipe elsewhere).
PS- if anyone has made hard cider themselves before, I’d love to hear about your process/advice!