Warm Mulled Cider with Butter, Brown Sugar, and Spices

This is a newer version of a recipe that appeared in Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook. This fragrant brew takes only minutes to prepare and is assembled by simmering fresh cider with melted butter, brown sugar, and spices. Dark rum and sliced apples and oranges round out the flavorings.

2 quarts (8 cups) fresh cider
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
10 thin orange slices, cut in half
1/2 medium apple, cored but not peeled, cut into thin slices
3 cinnamon sticks, 2 to 3 inches long, broken in half, plus 10 extra for garnish
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup dark rum (See note.)

1. Place the cider in a large saucepan set over medium heat, and heat until it is warmed through.

2. While the cider is heating, melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. When melted, add the sugar and stir about a minute. (The sugar will not be completely dissolved,.) Add the warm cider and stir until all the sugar has dissolved into the liquid.

3. Add half of the orange slices, the apple slices, the halved cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and rum. Stir and cook at a simmer, until flavors have melded well, 8 to 10 minutes. (Cider can be prepared 2 days ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat, stirring often.)

4. To serve, ladle warm cider into mugs or cups. Garnish each serving with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick. Serves 10.

Note: Dark, rather than light rum, works best in this recipe. Myers Dark Rum works particularly well in this mulled cider. You can omit the rum for a nonalcoholic preparation, and it will still taste good

© Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2010

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