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Not Your Gramma's Apple Pie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We've all heard of moonshine and the old stories of bootlegging. I'm pretty sure most adults have seen a movie or two where they make it. There's even a show on Discovery Channel called "Moonshiners". But did you know how easy it is to make your own flavored liquor? It's actually pretty easy which is great since it's holiday season and we all need something to warm us up.
Now, we all know what apple pie is and that's what I am going to teach you how to make. This isn't your Gramma's Apple pie though. This is apple pie flavored liquor (yes, we're rednecks). I have seen people do it with Vodka but you truly need a flavorless alcohol to get the right taste. So we're using good ol' Everclear. If you know what Everclear is then you probably just cringed like I do. It's a grain alcohol that is illegal to sell/purchase in some states because the proof is so high. It's 95% alcohol, 190 proof. You know it's going to be strong when you see three separate warnings right on the front label.
We will be doing practically everything other than distilling the liquor. It's a very simple process but it does take a while to make it. Of course, if you want to get really fancy (like us rednecks) you can bottle your end product in mason jars.
What You Need:
2-3 Dozen small to medium tart apples.
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large sheet of cheesecloth
Bakers twine (butchers at the grocery store can give you some)
6 Quart Mason Jars (for obvious reasons)
Large Pot
1/5th of 190 proof Everclear
1/2 Gallon Apple Juice
1/2 Gallon Cider
Making Cider: You can buy cider or apple juice to do this if you don't have the time or patience. I am making my own from the apples Jake picked me. You will want a tart apple. Rinse them off. To get the most flavor, slice them up. I have a large pot so I just filled as full as I could with apples. You will want at least 4 inches of water in the bottom of the pot. That took about 9 cups for me. Then take your cheesecloth and fold it up into a big square. Place two cinnamon sticks, cloves and all spice in it. Some will leak through on to your counter and that's alright. Roll it up and tie it shut with the twine. Then set it in with the apples. I wanted my cider to be dark and rich so I let it cook for an hour on medium low heat with the lid on. I didn't stir it either. Once it has cooked and your apples are soft, very carefully strain the liquid into another bowl. Don't press the apples or it will get pulp like applesauce.
Apple Pie Moonshine: I am the type of home cook who hates measuring. So for me, this was easy to do. Pour in the apple juice to the pot. Then fill up the same container with the cider and now you know you will have equal parts. SIMPLE. Next, add your full bottle of liquor. Take a swig first if you'd like. I won't tell. If you still have the cheesecloth full of spices, toss it back in, or start a new one if needed. Turn the heat on low and let it heat through. This will help blend and infuse all of the flavors together. After an hour, taste it and see what more it needs. It's hard for me to suggest what it may need because cider and apple juices all vary so much. Feel free to check it as much as needed. Once it tastes like you bit into a fresh apple pie, you know it's done.
After you have let it cool to room temperature, fill the mason jars and enjoy!

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