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Our cookbook of the week is Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field and Sea by photographer and food writer DL Acken, and recipe developer and olive oil sommelier Emily Lycopolus. Tomorrow, we’ll feature an interview with its authors.
Filled with the flavours of the season, its appetizing aroma is perhaps the best part of Emily Lycopolus’s spiced apple hot toddy. A Thanksgiving tradition, she serves it as soon as guests walk through the front door.
“It’s one of my favourites. The scent that it fills the house with, especially when you’re cooking all day long, is just intoxicating. I love being able to share something that’s so warm, hearty and rich,” says Lycopolus. Co-author DL Acken agrees: “Em’s apple hot toddy is a must for this time of year. It’s just starting to get cooler, the apples are at their sweetest and it really is insanely delicious.”
Lycopolus likes to use a sweet-tart variety of apple, such as Pink Lady or Salish, and suggests batching the recipe for a crowd; keep it in a slow cooker on the counter so guests can help themselves.
SPICED APPLE HOT TODDY
3 cups (750 mL) apple juice
2.5-cm (1-inch) piece ginger
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
2 tsp fennel seeds
6 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) spiced rum or brandy
In a large saucepan over low heat, warm the apple juice, but don’t let it boil. Peel and slice the ginger. Add the ginger, apple, maple syrup, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise and a pinch of salt to the warmed juice.
Slice the lemon into rounds. Add half to the pan, increase the heat to medium and bring to a slow boil. Cover, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the apple is soft and the spices are plump. Of course, it will smell heavenly.
Remove from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Remove the larger spices from the strainer (keeping the cinnamon sticks intact — give them a quick rinse and set aside). Then, using a spoon, press the apple flesh through the strainer. Whisk to emulsify and incorporate the cooked apple. Return the spiced apple juice mixture to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.
Make a cut from the centre to the peels of the remaining lemon rounds. Divide the rum (or brandy) between four mugs and top with warm spiced apple juice. Garnish each mug with a lemon round on its rim and a cinnamon stick.
This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Note: This recipe doubles or triples easily, and if you’re having a party, try keeping it in a slow cooker (after you’ve strained it). It will stay warm all evening and your guests can top up their glasses as they wish.
Reprinted with permission from Cedar and Salt by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus, 2019 TouchWood Editions. Copyright © 2019 by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019