Hot Vanilla Pear Cider
Cardamom and Vanilla Scented Pear Cider
If you reside in an area where the four seasons are noticeable based on temperature and appearance of trees, you might have observed that the changing colors of the leaves seem to queue a few things: the resurgence of sweaters, frequent discussions of slow cooker meals, and the fragrance of ciders wafting through the air. Most of these ciders are of the apple variety and rightly so. Early autumn brings with it the ripening of apples—so many apples—the sheer quantity of apples means folks are continuously trying to find uses for them and making cider is at the top of lists.
While apples are getting simmered and pressed, though, another seasonal fruit can be found falling off the branches with the orange and yellow leaves. Pears are sweet and delicious and have a much shorter shelf-life than apples, so why aren’t we rushing to find more uses for them before they rot on the ground? They are phenomenal for making cider—especially when paired with fragrant spice blends and vanilla!
I don’t know why pears aren’t found alongside vanilla more often. The subtle sweetness of the two ingredients when blended together creates a divine flavor capable of conjuring a feeling of calmness and contentment, especially when utilized in a warm, sense-alluring concoction like hot cider.
Cider can be a bit intimidating to make, though. Don’t I need a cider press to make real cider? Absolutely not. While a cider press can turn the process of making cider into a super fun group activity, it isn’t required for making a wonderfully tasteful cider. You can use a juicer, food processor, blender, or even a potato masher. The key to a super tasty cider is the spice infusion time. That’s why I like to simmer my fruit for several hours with the spice and then use an immersion blender to ensure I get all the juices out.
So if you are looking for a method of how to make cider without a cider press, look no further.
An added bonus: with the vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, maple, and star anise, infusing the juices and penetrating the air, this hot pear cider will make your home smell incredible!
Hot Pear Cider with Cardamom, Vanilla, and Ceylon Cinnamon
- 4 pears
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 star anise pod
- 2 sticks Ceylon cinnamon, broken into 3-4 pieces each
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Peel the pears, remove seeds, and chop into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for 3-6 hours.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the pears.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth and pour into mugs.
Serve hot on a crisp autumn day!
Note: Even after running this cider through a strainer or cheesecloth, you will have some pulp. After sitting for a while, the cider will separate. You can continue to strain to work toward a more translucent end-product or you can enjoy as-is. I like lots of pulp and keep mine in a jar so I can shake it up before drinking.
This recipe uses Vanilla Seeds from a Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon from Sri Lanka. Find yours on our online spice store.