A cozy cup of warm apple cider is a holiday essential. Sweet, tangy, and a little spicy, it calls to mind falling leaves and bonfires, a chill outside, and cheer in the air. As delicious as the autumnal drink is on its own, it doesn't take much for apple cider of any variety to become a perfect pairing for everything from cake and ice cream to roasted vegetables and pork.
All you need is a little bit of heavy cream. The combination of apple cider and heavy cream is luscious, with the fruity tartness of the cider mellowed by the cream and the mixture transforming into a rich, flavorful sauce. The taste isn't extreme toward sweet, tart, or savory, so the sauce is incredibly versatile for adding complexity to dishes. On desserts, it adds a little sourness to the sugar. Paired with something savory, apple cider cream sauce adds sweet intricacy.
Keep It Simple Or Spice It Up
Despite the complexity that it adds to its dishes, the sauce couldn't be simpler. After reducing 1 cup of apple cider for about 10 minutes in a pan on the stove, add around ⅓ cup of heavy cream and let it thicken for a couple of minutes. Don't forget to add a pinch of salt to the heavy cream. Just a little salt enlivens sweet flavors, making them more prominent and vibrant.
This simple combination alone offers plenty of flavor, but you don't have to stop there. Savory herbs, like rosemary or thyme, add an aromatic quality and earthy flavor. The acidity of a splash of lemon juice brightens the sauce's flavors, and a little heat from cayenne pepper packs a punch.
Any of these ingredients are easy to pick up at the grocery store, especially around the holidays, when apple cider is popular and in season, but if you are willing to invest a little more time, you can take the sauce up a few notches with your own refreshing homemade apple cider. As a bonus, you'll be able to enjoy a few sips of whatever you don't use for the sauce.
Experiment With Apple Cider
A sauce like this can carry you through the whole holiday season. If there's still some apple cider left over (that you haven't yet poured into a glass), there are lots of ways to put it to good use. Sticking to classic desserts, boiled apple cider will be a key ingredient in apple pie. Plus, you can drizzle the boiled apple cider (which has a syrupy consistency) over other desserts on your autumnal table.
Savory dishes shouldn't miss out on apple cider additions, either. As with apple cider cream sauce, there's a lot that this sweet and spicy drink can do beyond delicious desserts. Greens and fall produce can be the vehicle for a warm apple cider salad dressing. Extend that use to your holiday entrée with an apple cider ham. Start with a simple sauce, then get experimenting. No drop will go to waste!
Read the original article on Daily Meal.